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For many Western observers, the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan has been a rare, positive example in the debate on whether authoritarian governments can change their ways. In this view, under a new president, Uzbekistan has since 2016 moved on from…
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev receives Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (not pictured) in Tashkent.
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At Least 4 Dead After Police Shoot Live Ammunition into Crowd

(New York) – The Bangladesh authorities should exercise caution and restraint in containing the deadliest spate of sectarian violence in Bangladesh in years, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should take immediate steps to protect Hindu…
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Deposed Political Leaders and Journalists Remain Detained

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta’s recent prisoner releases are limited in scope and do not reflect a broader change in the military’s respect for human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 18, 2021, the State Administrative Council…
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Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law

(Brussels) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since…
Women take part in a demonstration against the Polish abortion law, in Wroclaw, Poland, on March 17, 2021.
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Rights Body Urges End to Early ‘Normalizing’ Interventions on Children

The Australian Human Rights Commission issued a report today analyzing the persistent practice of medically unnecessary non-consensual surgeries on children born with variations in their sex characteristics. The commission urged authorities to protect…
The Intersex flag
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Today, eleven undersigned organizations called on the Government of Singapore to withdraw the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill (‘FICA’). FICA’s provisions contravene international legal and human rights principles – including the rights to…
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Broad Law Threatens Freedom of Expression, Association

(New York) – The Singapore government should withdraw a proposed law that significantly undermines the rights of activists, academics, journalists, and others to freedom of expression, association, and participation in public affairs and to…
Reporters record a speech by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as it is streamed on Facebook live during vote counting in the general election in Singapore, July 11, 2020.
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On October 24, 2021, Uzbekistan will hold its first presidential election since President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in September 2016, following the death of Islam Karimov, the country’s longtime authoritarian president. Uzbekistan has garnered…
Uzbekistan's President Shavkat Mirziyoyev speaking in Qingdao, China on June 9, 2018. © 2018 AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko.”
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Restrictions on Media Freedoms, Political Participation in Upcoming Vote

(Berlin) – Uzbek authorities have ramped up restrictions on media freedoms and kept opposition candidates off the ballot for the presidential election scheduled for October 24, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. In releasing a question-and-…
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev receives Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (not pictured) in Tashkent.
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Protect Hindus, Sikhs in Muslim-Majority Region

(New York) – Indian authorities should take urgent steps to protect minority communities that are being targeted by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s failure to address serious allegations of human…
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard next to teachers at a government school where suspected militants fatally shot two teachers on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, October 7, 2021.
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Independent Investigation, Alignment with International Standards Needed

(Washington, DC) – Facebook has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including about human rights abuses carried out in Israel and Palestine during the May 2021 hostilities. The company’s acknowledgment of…
A Palestinian demonstrator holds a banner of the Facebook logo.
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Failure to Protect Older People, People with Disabilities in British Columbia

(Ottawa) – Inadequate government support compounded risks for people with disabilities and older people during the recent extreme and foreseeable heatwave that killed hundreds of people in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), Human Rights…
A woman sits to take a rest as heat wave hits Western Canada on June 30, 2021 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. © 2021 Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
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Legislators Need to Ensure Access to Safe, Legal Abortion Care for All

I had an abortion in the US state of Illinois as a young woman. I had support from friends and family, and I was able to access timely, compassionate care from a clinic 20 minutes from my home. I was treated with dignity and respect. It was the kind…
 People rally downtown for the Second Annual Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
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Journalists Arbitrarily Detained, Beaten

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have imposed wide-ranging restrictions on media and free speech that are already stifling criticism and dissent, Human Rights Watch said today. During a late September meeting with journalists in…
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Justice Ministry Suing to Liquidate Belarusian Helsinki Committee

Update: On September 30, the Belarusian Supreme Court upheld the government’s move to liquidate the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. The ruling cannot be appealed. (Berlin) – The Belarusian Justice Ministry has filed a lawsuit to dissolve the…
A riot police officer guards the area in State Flag Square, Minsk, Belarus, with the Supreme Court building in the background.
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September 22, 2021 Oleg Slizhevsky Minister of Justice Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus 10 Kolletornaya Street 2200004 Minsk Belarus Dear Mr. Slizhevsky, We are writing to urge you to withdraw the Justice Ministry’s lawsuit to…
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New Guidelines Raise Alarms for Reproductive Rights

The State Council, China’s cabinet, in its “Chinese Women’s Development Guidelines” for 2021-2030, announced today, identified “reducing non-medically necessary abortions” as a step toward women’s development. It’s unclear what specific policies…
A promotion for China's defunct one-child policy remains on the outer wall of a government office in Bobai, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, August 26, 2021.
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Decision Likely to Have Chilling Effect on Civil Society in France and Beyond

On September 24, France’s top administrative court, the Council of State, approved the French authorities’ December 2020 dissolution of the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF), a leading anti-discrimination group. The court’s decision…
Protesters hold a banner at a demonstration against a bill dubbed as "anti-separatism" and islamophobic in Paris, France on March 21, 2021.