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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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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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Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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Poorly Enforced Laws Leave Informal Workers No Recourse

(New York) – The Indian government’s failure to properly enforce its sexual harassment law leaves millions of women in the workplace exposed to abuse without remedy, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government should urgently…
Illustration of woman who's mouth is covered by hands
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Government Increasingly Targeting Rights Groups

(New York) – Amnesty International India announced that it is halting its work in the country after the Indian government froze its bank accounts in an act of reprisal for the organization’s human rights work. Fifteen international human rights…
Amnesty International India headquarters in Bangalore, India.
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Sedition, Counterterrorism Laws Used to Silence Dissent

(New York) – The Indian authorities are increasingly bringing politically motivated cases, including under severe sedition and terrorism laws, against critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately drop…
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Possible Excessive Use of Police Force Against Citizenship Law Protesters

(New York) – The Indian authorities should immediately order all police to abide by international standards on policing assemblies, Human Rights Watch said today. The police may have used excessive force against demonstrators across the…
A man is arrested during a protest against the new citizenship law in Gauhati, India, December 16, 2019.
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Draft Law Favors Hindus, Other Non-Muslim Immigrants

Update: On December 11, India’s upper house of parliament also passed the bill. It will now become law after the president of India gives his assent. (New York) – The Indian government’s proposed law to grant citizenship…
A protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Gauhati, India, Dec 10, 2019.
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India, Pakistan Should Accept Findings, Ensure Justice

(New York) – India and Pakistan should act on the recommendations of the United Nations human rights office to protect basic rights in the contested region of Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The 43-page report by the Office of the UN…
Relatives of disappeared persons participate in a silent protest, demanding an investigation into the disappearances of people in Kashmir.
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High-Level Independent Inquiry Needed

(New York) – India’s Supreme Court should ensure that its examination of the sexual harassment complaint against the sitting Supreme Court chief justice protects the rights of the woman who filed the complaint, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
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Time and Cost-Cutting Pressures Are Incentives for Labor Abuses

(London) – Clothing and footwear brands should end business practices that provide incentives for factory labor abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 66-page report, “‘Paying for a Bus Ticket and Expecting to…
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Provide Roadmaps for Reform Ahead of Elections

(New York) – Candidates and political parties contesting India’s parliamentary elections, slated for April and May 2019, should commit to strengthening human rights protections, Human Rights Watch said today in an open letter. Human Rights Watch…
Government officers distribute postal ballot papers to a election presiding officer ahead of the country's general elections in Gauhati, India, Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
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Stop Prosecuting Dissent; Repeal Abusive Counterterrorism Law

(New York) – Indian authorities detained five activists and raided the homes of several others on August 28, 2018, for allegedly inciting caste-based violence in January, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International India said today. The government…
Police try to stop people belonging to the Dalit community as they take part in a protest during a nationwide strike called by Dalit organisations, in Chandigarh, India, April 2, 2018. REUTERS/Ajay Verma
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Death Penalty Is Cruel Populism; Instead, Reform Justice System, Ensure Protections

(New York) – The Indian parliament should not adopt into law an ordinance which introduces capital punishment for those convicted of raping a girl under 12 years of age, Human Rights Watch said today. India should instead work towards…
People hold a candlelight vigil in Bengaluru, India, to protest the rape of an 8-year-old girl in Kathua and a teenager in Unnao, April 13, 2018.
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Reforms on Sexual Violence Not Implemented for ‘Invisible Victims’

(New Delhi) – Women and girls with disabilities in India who survive sexual violence face high barriers to access the justice system, Human Rights Watch said in a new report today. Five years ago, the government adopted significant…
When she was 13, Razia (not her real name), who has an intellectual disability and difficulties in speaking, was raped by her brother’s tutor in 2014.
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Uneven Progress in 5 Years Since Delhi Gang Rape

(New York) – Rape survivors in India face significant barriers to obtaining justice and critical support services, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Legal and other reforms adopted since the gang rape and murder of a…
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End Forced Institutionalization, Sexual and Physical Violence, Involuntary Treatment

(New Delhi) – Women and girls with disabilities in India are forced into mental hospitals and institutions, where they face unsanitary conditions, risk physical and sexual violence, and experience involuntary treatment, including electroshock therapy. As…
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Side Event Highlights Need for Concrete Action

(Geneva) – Senior UN human rights officials at a United Nations Human Rights Council side-event on June 17, 2014, called for immediate efforts to end caste-based rape and violence against women. The event, co-sponsored by Human Rights Watch, followed…
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Amendments to Drug Act Simplify Access to Pain Medicines

Millions of Indians suffering chronic pain will get better access to pain medicines following changes in India’s drug law, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 21, 2014, the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament, approved amendments to the…
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Victims Fear Reprisals; Authorities Need to Map Relief and Rehabilitation Plan

(New York) – Indian authorities should properly investigate all crimes, including allegations of sexual assault and gang rape during last month’s communal violence in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities should…