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Commodifying Life-Saving Medical Products Undermines Global Health Response

(New York) – Wealthy governments and pharmaceutical companies are undermining a rapid and equitable public health response to Covid-19 vaccines, therapeutic drugs, and tests, Human Rights Watch researchers said in a paper published ahead of a World…
A woman receives the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 at an apartment building in Bengaluru, India, April 24, 2021.
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Proposed Plan Could Improve Medicine Access for Millions

Last week, the administration of US President Joe Biden released a much-anticipated policy agenda for addressing exorbitant prescription drug costs in the United States. Congress and the White House should seize this opportunity to implement reforms…
President Joe Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2021.
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Muslim and Christian Preachers Face Prison Under Abusive Law

Indonesian National Police have separately arrested and detained two clergymen on blasphemy charges. On August 25 Muhammad Kece, a Christian preacher, was arrested at his friend’s house in Bali for alleged blasphemy against Islam. Among other…
(L-R) Muhammed Kece, Yahya Waoni
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The Egyptian government has deliberately let a former presidential candidate languish behind bars without proper medical care.

On July 25, the family of 69-year-old Abd al-Moniem Abu al-Fotouh, the detained leader of the Strong Egypt Party, said he had suffered symptoms resembling a heart attack the night before while in solitary confinement in Cairo’s notorious…
Egyptian security forces have been involved in systematic abuses such as enforced disappearance and torture and have used abusive counterterrorism laws and measures to crush peaceful dissent. Egyptian security forces stand guard outside one of the entranc
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Tribal Treaty Requires US Government to Provide Competent Care

A United States Court of Appeals last week affirmed a lower court ruling that the US government is obliged to provide competent health care to South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a modest but important victory for the human right to health of tribe…
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs host a field hearing in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 17, 2016, to discuss proposed legislation aimed at fixing shortcomings at the network of hospitals run by the Indian Health Service.
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A Third Shot in Rich Countries Undermines Legal Obligations to Cooperate

The United States government’s announcement this week that eligible people can receive a third “booster” shot of Moderna or Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines comes as less than two percent of people in low-income countries have received even a single dose of…
Empty vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine lie in a box during a vaccine campaign at the Vaccine Village in Ebersberg, Germany on May 15, 2021.
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Vaccine Prohibitions, Poor Transparency Undermining Response

(Beirut) – Iranian authorities’ prohibition on procuring US- and UK-produced vaccines, lack of transparency, and mismanagement are exacerbating the already dire impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Iran, Human Rights Watch said today. Iran is…
An Iranian man wearing a protective face mask looks on as people line-up to receive China's Sinopharm vaccine in central Tehran on July 19, 2021. 
News

Allowing Private Employers to Ban Religious Dress Hurts Muslim Women Most

Protection of religious freedom – for Muslim women in particular – was dented last week by the European Union’s highest court’s ruling that permits employers to discriminate against people who wear religious dress. Ruling on two cases brought by…
Young women with headscarves sit in the Bundestag in Berlin, Germany on January 31, 2020. 
Report
Summary “Offenders must be punished hard and swiftly, public security and cultural market administrations must investigate and prosecute them with awesome power.” — Dong Yunhu, former head of the Tibet Autonomous Region Propaganda Bureau, Tibet…
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Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
News

Policies Undermine Government’s Calls for Global Vaccine Equity

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s raids on irregular migrants are deterring people fearful of arrest and deportation from getting vaccinated for Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. These actions undermine the government’s repeated…
Migrant workers show their passport during a raid in Dengkil, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 21, 2021.
News

Biden Envoy Should Combat Actual Antisemitism, Not Israeli Criticism

On May 18, a group waving the Palestinian flag assaulted diners seated outside a Los Angeles restaurant after reportedly asking if they were Jewish. In New York City two days later, assailants pummeled a young man wearing a skullcap on the street, a…
Police stand guard in front of the Young Israel of Riverdale synagogue where glass windows were smashed in New York on April 25, 2021.
News

Enforced Disappearances, Incommunicado Detention, Groundless Deportation

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men since October 2020 and deported at least six others without explanation, apparently based solely on their religious background, Human Rights Watch said…
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
News
With the G7 Summit around the corner and debates about waiving intellectual property rules for Covid-19 vaccines and other health products heating up, all eyes will be on Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel has stood in the way of the waiver, making it…
A woman receives the AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid-19 at an apartment building in Bengaluru, India, April 24, 2021.
News

Amend Discriminatory Regulation That Blocks New Houses of Worship

Hundreds of Muslims in Indonesia this week demanded that the local government in Sraten village, East Java, stop the Muhammadiyah congregation from building a mosque. The protest prompted the village head to order the construction halted until the…
Indonesia's religious minorities, including Christians, Ahmadis, Buddhists and native faith believers, celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day outside the State Palace in Jakarta