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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
News

Quash Unjust Charges and Sentence

(Beirut) – The release from prison of the prominent Bahraini human rights defender Nabeel Rajab on June 9, 2020 is a long-overdue but positive development, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities detained him in June 2016 and a court later…
202006mena_bahrain_rajabfamily
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Halt Executions

(Beirut) – Bahrain’s authorities should overturn the death sentences following unfair trials against two men who say they were tortured, Human Rights Watch and the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said today. The Court of…
Mohamed Ramadan (left) and Hussein Ali Moosa (right).
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New Government Should Suspend Abusive Laws

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s new government, approved by Parliament on February 27, 2020, should make human rights a priority, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should protect fundamental rights in eight key areas: ending criminal…
A general view of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People in Tunis, Tunisia, May 2016.
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Accused of Inciting Hatred in a Facebook Post

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities should drop the prosecution of a prominent activist on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights (LGBT) over a post on Facebook perceived as offensive to Islam. The counterterrorism…
Mounir Baatour, lawyer and president of Shams association, a group that defends sexual minorities.
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Repressive Laws Sap Free Expression

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are using laws on criminal defamation, “spreading false information,” and “harming others via public telecommunications networks” to prosecute people for their online commentary, Human Rights Watch said…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
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Rights Defenders Imprisoned, Free Expression Prosecuted

(Beirut) – Participants in the ‘Peace to Prosperity’ workshop on June 25 and 26 in Manama, and journalists covering the event, should question Bahraini officials about the government’s jailing of human rights defenders and suppression…
Bahraini anti-government protesters hold up images of jailed human rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a solidarity protest on May 14, 2015.
News

Law’s Reach Depends on Enforcement

(Tunis) – Tunisia’s first freedom of information law, approaching its third anniversary, significantly advances the rights of citizens to get information from publicly funded institutions, Human Rights Watch said today. The law’s real…
The standard form for filing a request for information under Tunisia’s 2016 “Right to Access Information Law” (Law No. 2016-22).
News

Arrests, Charges Lead to Self-Censorship

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities are investigating, charging, and in some cases detaining bloggers and social media activists merely for their peaceful criticism of public officials, Human Rights Watch said today. Several said they have begun to…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
News

Free Speech and Association, Dissidents Under Attack

(Beirut) –Bahrain cracked down on peaceful dissent during 2018, virtually eliminating all opposition, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2019. No independent media were allowed to operate in the country in 2018, and…
Demonstrations after the death of a young Bahraini after being shot outside the home of the Shiite leader in Bahrain on March 25, 2017. © 2017 Sayed Baqer AlKamel/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Bahrainis Deported from Homeland; Others at Risk

(Beirut) – Bahraini authorities should restore citizenship to hundreds of nationals whose citizenship they revoked through executive orders or court decisions since 2012, rendering most of them stateless, Human Rights Watch said today…
© 2017 Human Rights Watch
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Prosecution Should Drop Charges in ‘Tweets Case’

(Beirut) – The Bahraini government should drop its charges against a prominent Bahraini human rights defender for peacefully expressing his views and order his immediate release, Human Rights Watch said today. The Manama Appeals Court…
Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015.
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Exonerate, Free Nabeel Rajab

(Beirut) – The Bahrain High Criminal Court on February 21, 2018, sentenced the prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab to five years in prison for criticizing torture in a Bahrain prison and Saudi airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights…
Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab arrives for his appeal hearing at court in Manama, February 11, 2015.
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.
News

While Saudi Arabia Fights Yemen War Crimes Investigation

This week Saudi Arabia and its allies in Geneva are blustering and threatening other countries to try to defeat a UN Human Rights Council resolution that would set up an independent investigation into war crimes by all parties –…
MENA 2015 Bahrain Nabeel Rajab
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Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
News

Restrictions on Free Speech and Protest in Bahrain and the Foreign Policy Responsibilities of Western Governments

Bahraini human rights activist Zainab al-Khawaja, known to her 47, 900 Twitter followers as @angryarabiya, faced trial in a courtroom in Manama in October 2014. The charges related to an incident two years earlier when she had ripped up a photo of Bahrain…
MENA Bahrain protesters Pearl roundabout February 2011
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In recent years there has been a rapid expansion of the popularity and use of social networking internet sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and YouTube activity in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman,…
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Region-Wide Crackdown on Social Media Activism

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have attempted to silence peaceful critics in response to a wave of online activism in recent years, Human Rights Watch said in an interactive website that began operating today. The governments have responded to online…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.