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Mark Istanbul Convention’s 10th Anniversary with Action

(Berlin) – Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released…
People gathered in Istanbul in March 2021 to protest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty designed to safeguard women from gender-based violence. 
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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
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Palestinian Towns Squeezed While Jewish Towns Grow

(Jisr al-Zarqa) – The Israeli government’s policy of boxing in Palestinian communities extends beyond the West Bank and Gaza to Palestinian towns and villages inside Israel, Human Rights Watch said today. The policy discriminates against…
Jisr al-Zarqa, the only Palestinian town in Israel on the Mediterranean.
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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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Revoke Other Discriminatory Laws Against Women

(Jerusalem) – The Palestinian Authority’s repeal of certain discriminatory provisions against women in March 2018 is a good first step toward what should be the repeal of a series of such measures, Human Rights Watch said today. Other forms of…
Photo showing a white dress symbolizing a bride produced by the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling as part of their campaign to repeal article 308 which had allowed rapists to escape prosecution if they married their victims. The message in Arab
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Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
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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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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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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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…
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Death, Destruction, and Massive Arrests

(Jerusalem) – Israel’s military operations in the West Bank following the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers have amounted to collective punishment. The military operations included unlawful use of force, arbitrary arrests, and illegal home…
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Hunger-Striking Palestinian Detainees Denied Due Process

(Jerusalem) – Israel should immediately charge or release Palestinians detained without charge or trial for prolonged periods and stop denying them and their lawyers access to evidence of their alleged crimes. On February 22, 2013, an Israeli military…
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Red Cross Highlights Risk for Hunger Strikers

(Jerusalem) – Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) should immediately charge or release men they are detaining arbitrarily and investigate alleged abuses against them in custody. At least three men on hunger strike to protest their detention by…
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Bill Enhances Protection for Victims, Penalties for Perpetrators

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s parliament should adopt a strong, comprehensive law to curb domestic violence, Human Rights Watch said today. Parliament is debating a draft bill and is likely to vote on March 7, 2012. The draft law would replace Turkey’s existing…
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But policy of detaining hundreds of Palestinians for years without charges remains in effect

Khader Adnan may live to see his 34th birthday after all. He has been on hunger strike for 66 days to protest against his “administrative detention,” which allows the Israeli military to detain Palestinians without charge, indefinitely, on the basis of…
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Restrictions on Speech, Misuse of Terrorism Laws Largely Unaddressed

(New York) – A major legal reform package to be introduced by the Turkish government leaves key problems with free speech and arbitrary detention unresolved, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft package has been sent to the Parliamentary Justice…