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Risk of Illegal Racial Profiling and Other Abuses

(Athens) – Greece is planning a new police program to scan people’s faces and fingerprints that is inconsistent with international human rights standards on privacy and likely to amplify ongoing discrimination, Human Rights Watch and Homo Digitalis…
Police officers check the documents and permissions of people in the streets of Athens, Greece, March 23, 2020. 
News
(New York) - Human Rights Watch together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 125 non-governmental organizations and academics sent the following letter, urging Members of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime to ensure that its…
UN Headquarters
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.
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

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.
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

Social Media Platforms Should Not Yield to Pressure

The final days of 2021 were marked by a particularly vicious escalation of Russia’s crackdown on independent reporting and activism. Amid a flurry of new “foreign agent” designations, arrests of political activists, and appalling court rulings…
An iPhone screen shows the Telegram account of OVD-Info
News

More Ambitious Agenda, Stronger Safeguards Needed

(Brussels) – The European Union’s draft rules to regulate internet platforms have the potential to better protect human rights online, Human Rights Watch said today. But the European Parliament should be more ambitious in holding technology companies…
EU Digital Regulation
News

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

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"
News

Civil Society Groups, Experts Urge Action Against Company

(Brussels) – The European Union should adopt targeted sanctions against NSO Group, the Israel-based company that produces spyware, 88 human rights groups and independent experts said today in a letter to the EU foreign policy chief and foreign…
NSO Group logo on building
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Dear EU High Representative Borrell and Foreign Ministers of the EU member states, We are writing following credible revelations that Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware was used to hack the devices of six Palestinian human rights activists – the…
News

Macron Should Address Rights Abuses in Gulf Region

This week, French President Emmanuel Macron will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with a large delegation of French ministers and major business executives. In the UAE, he will apparently be finalizing a weapons deal, when…
News

Government’s Harassment Threatens Freedom of Expression

November 30 marks Guatemalan Journalist’s Day, established in 1972 to honor the “vital role” journalists serve in the country. This year, journalists are observing the day by demonstrating against a government that is escalating attacks against them…
A group posing for a photo with raised fists
News

Violations, Flimsy Evidence, Speculative Reasoning Led to 6-Year Sentence

(New York) – Omar Radi, an investigative journalist in Morocco, was denied a fair trial and sentenced to six years in prison on espionage and rape charges, Human Rights Watch said today, after an extensive review of the case. An appeals session in his…
Supporters of Omar Radi in front of the Casablanca Courthouse, Morocco.
News

Israel, Like China, Has Weaponized Surveillance Technology to Suppress Peaceful Dissent

Tech-enabled control of a persecuted population. Abusive facial recognition. Severe restrictions on movement. Branding peaceful dissent as “terrorism”. For many readers, the scenario brings to mind China’s mass human rights violations against…
A display shows surveillance technology capable of analyzing body motion for specific actions like fighting, theft or fall during Security China 2018 in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.
News

Journalists Threatened; New ‘Religious Guidelines’ Ban Women Actors

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan are threatening journalists and imposing strict new media guidelines that especially harm women, Human Rights Watch said today. Taliban intelligence officials have made death threats against…
Taliban guards at the entrance of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, which oversees the implementation of religious regulations, Kabul, Afghanistan on September 21, 2021. 
News

An Interview with Hugh Williamson

CABAR.asia: Recently, the authorities of the Central Asian countries have been actively regulating online activities, adopting various laws that help them control the internet. How are things going with the freedom of the internet, with internet…
Uzbekistan’s media landscape, made up of independent, state-sponsored, and international Uzbek and Russian language media outlets, is in a period of growth and change, as journalists test the boundaries of respect for free expression.