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Time may be running out for Washington and its allies to hold the region’s miscreant governments to account

Central American countries are falling like dominoes into authoritarianism. Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega has intensified his crackdown on political opponents, journalists and human rights defenders in advance of general elections on…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
News

Dozens Placed Under Arbitrary House Arrests

(Tunis) – Arbitrary and politically motivated acts of repression have proliferated in Tunisia since July 25, 2021, when President Kais Saied suspended parliament, Human Rights Watch said today. He also lifted parliamentary immunity, dismissed the head…
Tunisian President Kais Saied raises his fist to bystanders as he walks along the avenue Bourguiba in Tunis, Tunisia, August 1, 2021.
News

A Dangerous Move Capitalizes on Popular Frustration

(Tunis) – Tunisian President Kais Saied should safeguard the human rights of all Tunisians and reverse any repressive measures taken since announcing July 25 measures that largely concentrate powers in his office, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
Kais Saied during the sworn ceremony in Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia on October 23, 2019.
News

Investigate, Bolster Protections for LGBT People

(New York) – Unidentified assailants killed two transgender women and one gay man in Guatemala in separate attacks within the span of one week, including Andrea González, the leader of a trans rights organization, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Andrea González
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June 10, 2021   H.E. Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón President of the Government of Spain La Moncloa Aven Madrid, 28071 Spain   Dear President Sánchez, I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch in advance of…
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Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
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Ensure Humane Treatment, Due Process, Medical Care

(Tunis) – Families of women and children with ties to suspected members of the Islamic State group (ISIS) who were recently repatriated to Tunisia say that all of the women are in detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Some have faced abuse, have…
The Palace of Justice in Tunis, Tunisia, on January 29, 2019.
News

Strengthen Protections against Violence and Discrimination

“We know where you live, we’re going to kill you.” Those words echoed in Ale’s mind long after she left Guatemala to seek asylum. The men who threatened her had phoned to extort her nearly every day for two months in 2018, calling her homophobic slurs…
Protest against the “Life and Family Protection” bill in Guatemala City, May 1, 2019.
News

Failure to Address Complaint Against Police

  Update: On March 17, 2021, the Court of Appeal in Tunis ordered Rania Amdouni released. The appeals judge confirmed Amdouni’s conviction but suspended her six-month sentence, and increased the fine from 18 dinars ($6.5) to 218 dinars ($78…
Rania Amdouni, 26, at the office of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, on October 27, 2020.
News

UN Experts Should Investigate

(Beirut) – Tunisian security forces have repeatedly targeted protesters, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) activists at protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The targeting involved arbitrary arrests, physical…
Protesters gather in Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, Tunisia on February 6, 2021.
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Harassment, Limited Access to Information, Poor Investigations of Attacks

(New York) – The administration of President Alejandro Giammattei in Guatemala has targeted the media through bellicose rhetoric and false accusations throughout the president’s first year in office, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect…
uatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei gives a press conference at the National Theatre, the day before his inauguration in Guatemala City, Jan. 13, 2020.
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1 Dead, Arrests for Facebook Posts and ‘Insulting Police’

(Tunis) – Police in several Tunisian governorates appear to have responded to social justice protests in recent weeks with excessive force at times, leaving one man dead and arresting hundreds, including many minors, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A protester holds up a sign saying “Police Everywhere, Justice Nowhere” during nation-wide protests calling for social justice and government reform on January 23, 2021, Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis, Tunisia.
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Police Violence Against LGBT People in Tunisia

On October 6, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Tunisia raised their voices and banners in the street, amid the hundreds of demonstrators who were peacefully protesting a draft law that would drastically limit criminal…
Saif Ayadi, LGBT rights activist at Damj Association, surrounded by protesters on October 6, 2020.
News

Injuries, Detentions During Protests over Budget Cuts

(Washington, DC) – Guatemalan authorities should investigate and hold accountable security forces that responded with excessive force during the protests on November 21, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The response by law enforcement to…
Demonstrators take part in a protest demanding the resignation of President Alejandro Giammattei, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, November 21, 2020.
News

Repeal Laws Restraining Free Speech

(Tunis) – A Tunis court on November 12, 2020 sentenced a blogger, Wajdi Mahouechi, to two years in prison for posting a Facebook video that a court official deemed offensive, Human Rights Watch said today. Mahouechi, 31, a frequent commentator on…
A Tunisian woman walks past a graffiti that reads "Freedom is a daily practice" in Tunis April 26, 2011.
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Lawmakers Should Address Alleged Corruption, Respect Constitutional Court Rulings

(Washington, DC) – The Guatemalan Congress’s efforts to press criminal charges against Constitutional Court judges over a recent court ruling are a flagrant assault on judicial independence, Human Rights Watch said today. In May 2020, the…
Lawmakers vote in Congress, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, on September 11, 2017.
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When Pricila, a 32-year-old trans woman, fled El Salvador in February 2019, she had good reason to fear for her life. Police had beaten and sexually assaulted her, telling her they would make her a man. Gang members attempted to forcibly recruit her.…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags