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Anti-Death Penalty Group Condemns Sentence, Seeks Action on Prison Conditions

(New York) – Human Rights Watch on January 18, 2022 joined other organizations in condemning Sri Lanka’s ongoing use of the death penalty after a prison official was sentenced to death on January 12. The groups said that the conviction appeared to be an…
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In December 2021, I had the chance to talk with a bright 14-year-old girl named Maria Tunbonat, a fifth-grader in a state school in Tarakan, North Kalimantan. Her father, Ayub, also joined the video call as we spoke about her school and her…
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Central Asian Countries Should Reaffirm, Act on Rights Commitments

(Berlin) –  Kazakhstan authorities have failed to prioritize protecting human rights during the country’s current crisis, and should urgently cancel any order to shoot to kill without warning and uphold the rights of those in detention, Human…
Police detain Khalida Akytkhan outside the Chinese Consulate in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where relatives of people detained or disappeared in Xinjiang, China have been protesting for over 300 days.
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Authorities Target Independent Journalists, Activists, Rights Defenders, Lawyers

(Berlin) – Belarusian authorities unleashed an unprecedented crackdown against civil society following peaceful countrywide protests in spring and summer 2020, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. In 2021 Belarusian government…
Journalists Katsiaryna Andreyeva, right, and Daria Chultsova embrace inside a defendants' cage in a court room in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.
News

Dissenting Voices and Activists Forced into Exile

(Moscow) – Russian authorities unleashed a full-fledged witch hunt on civic groups, independent media and journalists, political opposition and other critics in the run-up to the parliamentary election in September 2021, Human Rights Watch said today…
Police detain protesters at a rally against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg, January 31, 2021.
News

Punishment of Dissent; Impunity

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence and judicial authorities continued their crackdown on dissent in 2021, while lawmakers passed and debated laws that further violate human rights, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2022. Over the past three…
Iranians gather during a protest after their province's river dried up due to drought and diversion, in the central city of Isfahan, on November 19, 2021.
News

Human Rights Defenders and Ordinary Citizens Targeted, Harassed, Tortured

(Beirut) – Egypt’s superficial attempts to create an impression of human rights progress failed to disguise the government’s brutal repression of all manner of dissent in 2021, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Despite ending…
An Egyptian intelligence security detail member stands guard near a banner showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
News

Actions Contradict Pledges of Legal Reform

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government in 2021 suppressed minority communities, harassed activists, and undermined democratic institutions, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. The government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa failed…
Sri Lankan police enforce all-island travel restrictions amid Covid 19 pandemic in Sri Lanka, May 14, 2021.
News

Investigations, Prosecutions Fall Short

(New York) – The Maldives authorities during 2021 failed to adequately address threats and violence by extremist Islamist groups against politicians, journalists, and activists, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Despite some…
Maldivian police secure area following a blast targeting former President Mohamed Nasheed, Malé, Maldives, May 6, 2021.
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Activists, Critics Targeted; Growing Attacks on Muslims, Groups at Risk

(New York) – Indian authorities intensified their crackdown on activists, journalists, and other critics of the government using politically motivated prosecutions in 2021, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Tens of thousands of…
Women farmers attend a gathering to mark the first anniversary of their protests against controversial farm reforms at Haryana's Bahadurgarh, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, November 26, 2021.
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Regarding abduction style detentions of relatives of persons who publicly criticized the governor of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov

January 7, 2022  Dear President Putin, In the last week of December 2021, dozens of relatives of five activists who have dared to criticize the leadership of the Chechen Republic were abducted in Russia, and the fate and whereabouts of many of…
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Ensure National and Foreign Forces Respect Rights; Investigate Killings

(New York) – Kazakhstan should immediately annul any order to security forces to shoot to kill without warning, Human Rights Watch said today. Such an order violates Kazakhstan’s international legal obligations to respect and protect the right to life…
Kazakh riot police walk to block demonstrators gathering during a protest in Almaty, Kazakhstan, January 5, 2022.
News

Xi Jinping’s tenure has been marked by harsh crackdowns on human rights activism.

“I refuse to accept the idea that the state’s authority can’t be opposed, challenged, or interrogated. In the face of power, I would always be at a disadvantage, I knew, but I was a born contrarian, and there’s no other way for me to live except by…
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Prompt, Impartial Investigation of Police Actions Needed

(Nairobi) – Police fired on protesters in Goma, in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 20, 2021, killing three people including a 6-month-old baby, Human Rights Watch said today. At least 12 other people were injured, including 3…
National Road No. 2 barricaded with stones to block traffic during a demonstration in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on December 20, 2021.
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Blocking, Oppressive Laws, Pressure on Tech Companies

(Moscow) – Russian authorities redoubled their efforts in 2021 to repress internet freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. The government blocked popular censorship circumvention tools, experimented with novel censorship technologies, expanded…
A young man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone at the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, May 26, 2020.
News

15 Year Sentence; Case on Appeal

Update 1/7/2021: On December 30, 2021, the Najran Region Appellate Court in Saudi Arabia upheld Ali Abu Luhum’s 15-year prison sentence. The court announced the confirmation even though Abu Luhum's defense lawyer was not present.  (Beirut) – A…
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Communist Party Aims to Control Dalai Lama Selection

In late November, a senior local Chinese Communist Party official toured three townships in Sog, a county in the Tibet Autonomous Region that has a history of resistance to state controls on religion. His goal: to ensure local Tibetan officials…
Graduates of a training course in official policy on the recognition of reincarnations in Ngamring County, Shigatse Municipality, Tibet Autonomous Region
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Drop Politically Motivated Charges Against Pham Doan Trang

Update: On December 14, 2021, a Hanoi court sentenced Pham Doan Trang to nine years in prison. Before her trial, Pham Doan Trang prepared a statement for publication. The English version is available here. The original Vietnamese is available here…
Pham Doan Trang with two books that she co-authored, 2019.
News

Assault on Media Shouldn’t Dim Maria Ressa’s Nobel Triumph

Another journalist has been killed in the Philippines, the 22nd during the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. Jesus Malabanan was watching TV in his home in Calbayog when gunmen barged in and shot him in the head, according to reports. Malabanan, 58,…
People in face masks hold signs that read "Defend Press Freedom"