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Violators Unpunished; Crackdown on Activists

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities held a tight grip on peaceful activism during 2020, jailing lawyers, human rights defenders, and those who protested government corruption, mismanagement, and repression, Human Rights Watch said today in its…
People gather for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the Ukraine plane crash, at the gate of Amri Kabir University where some of the victims of the crash were former students, on January 11th, 2020 in Tehran, Iran.
News

Trial Postponed Over His Poor Health, But He Remains in Detention

(Beirut) – Algerian Authorities have brought charges against an activist for his peaceful support for the pro-reform Hirak protest movement and for boycotting the December 2019 presidential elections, Human Rights Watch said today. The activist,…
An Algerian demonstrator holds the Algerian national flag as he stage a protest against the government in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, Nov.29, 2019. 
News

Vague Charges; Allegations of Abuse and Torture

(Beirut) – Iranian courts have reportedly issued or upheld at least four execution sentences since late June 2020 in connection to repeated protests against the deterioration of economic conditions and government corruption over the past two years,…
Iranian protesters gather around a burning car during a demonstration against an increase in gasoline prices in the capital Tehran, on November 16, 2019.
News

Syrians Returned to Streets Over Economic Meltdown

(Beirut) – Syrian security forces responded to a protest in the city of Sweida on June 15 by beating and arresting protesters demonstrating against the government’s failure to address the country’s economic meltdown, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
People hold up banners at a protest in Sweida on June 9, 2020
News

No Access to Lawyer, Risk of Mistreatment

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities have detained two students from Sharif University in Tehran in solitary confinement for nearly two months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should release the two students immediately – unless they can…
News

Prison Sentences for Protesters

(Beirut) - Algerian authorities are cracking down on the protest movement known as “the Hirak,” which opposes holding the presidential elections scheduled for December 12, 2019, arresting hundreds of activists and imprisoning scores for…
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Churches Sealed; Worshipers Beaten

(Beirut) – The recent closure of three Protestant churches and a police assault on worshipers at one church are the latest examples of the repression of this tiny religious minority in Algeria, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
A Protestant Berber boy attends a weekly mass at a church in Tizi-Ouzou, 100 kilometers east of Algeria's capital, Algiers, October 2, 2010.
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Judiciary Instrumental in Crackdown on Dissent

(Beirut) – Iran’s judiciary is dramatically increasing the costs of peaceful dissent in Iran, Human Rights Watch said today. Since July 31, 2019 alone, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least 13 activists to prison…
Iranian workers chant slogans during a May Day demonstration in front of the former US embassy in Tehran, May 1, 2006, protesting against the labor resolutions and their delayed payments. @2006 Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images
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Prosecution, Judicial Control for Criticizing Courts on Facebook

(Beirut) – An Algerian human rights lawyer is facing charges and restrictions on his activities, apparently for exercising his right to free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. Salah Dabouz, a former president of the Algerian League…
Lawyer, Mr. Salah Dabouz, former president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH).
News

Lengthy Prison Terms Shows Effort to Deter Rights Advocacy

(Beirut) – The prominent human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh’s draconian sentence for her peaceful activism shows the threat posed by Iran’s revolutionary courts to human rights work, the Center for Human Rights in Iran and Human Rights…
Nasrin Sotoudeh
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Public Official Arrested for Speaking Out Against Repression

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence officials have increased the arrests of the country’s Baha’i religious minority over the past two months, with no clear charges, Human Rights Watch said today. In August and September 2018, authorities…
Members of the Baha'i religion demonstrate in Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach on June 19, 2011 asking Iranian authorities to release seven Baha'i prisoners accused of spying for Israel and sentenced to 20 years in jail. © 2011 Ana Carolina Fernandes/AFP
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Superficial reforms leave religious minorities behind—and that's dangerous

After generating some positive press earlier this summer by lifting the ban on women driving, Saudi Arabia is once more the target of reproach. In August, the country’s notorious terrorism court sought the death penalty against Israa al…
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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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Trials Violate Rights to Legal Defense, Basic Liberties

(Beirut) – Since May 2018, revolutionary courts have sentenced at least 208 members of the religious minority to prison terms and other punishments in trials that violate their basic rights, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Relatives of detained Dervishes outside Evin prison in Tehran, January 2018. © 2018 Center for Human Rights in Iran
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Halt Death Penalty; Free Others Arbitrarily Held

(Beirut) – The Iranian judiciary should immediately halt the looming execution of a member of the Gonabadi Dervish community, Human Rights Watch said today. Iran should also release all Dervish members arbitrarily detained since February 2018. …
Police Forces at the scene of the clashes, Tehran, Iran February 19, 2018. © 2018 Majzooban-e-Noor
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Mass Arrests at Protest; Death in Custody

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities arrested over 300 members of the minority Dervish Muslim community in late February 2018 after police forcibly tried to break up a protest. The events in February stemmed from what appears to be an intensified…
Police Forces at the scene of the clashes, Tehran, Iran February 19, 2018. © 2018 Majzooban-e-Noor
News

More Than 50 Tried in December on Charges Relating to Religion

(Beirut) – Algerian authorities have stepped up trials of members of the Ahmadiyya religious minority on charges related to the exercise of their religion, Human Rights Watch said today. Sentences range from fines to a year in prison. …
Mohamed Fali.
News

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.