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Respect for Rights Should be Prerequisite for Closer Ties, More Trade

European Union officials have a chance to send a clear message when they meet for an EU summit this week: the deplorable human rights situation in Turkey should have consequences for the country’s relationship with the EU. During a visit to Turkey’…
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives for a meeting with European Council President Charles Michel at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, March 9, 2020.
News

Government, University Authorities Should Allow Peaceful Dissent

A Turkish court today ordered the release of two student protesters detained since February 4. Şilan Delipalta and Anıl Akyüz were arrested for joining an unauthorized protest against President Erdogan’s controversial appointment of an unelected…
Police forcefully detain a protester  who is crying on the ground while the police stand over her at a demonstration.
News

Council Meeting Offered Little Hope to Turkey’s Human Rights Defenders

The bolder Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gets, the quieter the European Union (EU). The conclusion of last week’s EU summit showed, as last year under the German Presidency, that when it comes to Turkey, geopolitics and migration have…
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen walking near the Turkish and European Union flags.
News

Authorities Should End All Abusive Criminal Charges and Detention

Hopes that a new president may reverse a repressive course in Burundi seem increasingly misplaced.  The Burundian judicial authorities’ decision to prosecute a former independent member of parliament – who is known for being an outspoken…
Fabien Banciryanino.
News

20 Years On, UN Should Compensate Victims

Today, the United Nations human rights expert on hazardous waste called out the UN for consistently failing the victims of widespread lead poisoning in refugee camps it ran in Kosovo. The UN leadership should listen and take long-overdue action in…
Roma children play in the Cesmin Lug refugee camp in Mitrovica city, northern Kosovo. Cesmin Lug is one of several camps that the UN established in what was known to be a heavily contaminated area near a defunct lead mine. December 12, 2007.
News

EU Should Take Action to Ensure Mandate Is Extended

The recent change in Burundi’s leadership has raised hopes among international partners that a somber chapter in the country’s history may finally be coming to an end. There’s optimism that new relationships can be forged with president Évariste…
Doudou Diene, President of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, speaks at a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, September 5, 2018.
News

Ensure Transparency, End Institutional Care

Serbia has taken a positive step to better protect people from Covid-19 by agreeing to release data on the total number of Covid-19 infections and deaths inside social care institutions. People inside institutions are some of the most at-risk during…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
News
In June 2020, the Turkish government proposed a new draft law amending Turkey’s Law on Lawyers. The draft greatly reduces the representation of lawyers from Turkey’s main cities at the national Union of Turkish Bar Associations and proposes that in…
Chairs of Turkey’s provincial bar associations stage a sit-in demonstration after police blocked the group from marching to Ankara to protest a new draft law. The new law is set to divide the legal profession along political lines and has been strongly opposed by bar associations. June 22, 2020. © AP Photo
News

WHO Experts Expelled, Election Observers Blocked

While most of the world tries to slow the spread and limit the death toll of Covid-19, Burundi is expelling health experts. This week, the government, which refuses to acknowledge the threat the virus presents, resorted to familiar tactics and…
A rally on the first day of the ruling party’s campaign in Bugendana, Burundi, on April 27, 2020.
News

State Regulator Insults Media as Journalists Appeal Conviction

Just when many thought press freedom had hit rock bottom in Burundi, the government-controlled National Communication Council’s (CNC) Media Awards this week have added insult to injury. The theme of this year’s ceremony was to…
journalists in Burundi attend court session
News

New Draft Law Would Force Social Media Companies to Submit to Censorship

  Update: On April 14, Human Rights Watch learned from members of Turkey’s parliament that the government has withdrawn draft amendments to control social media companies for the present Not content with simply…
People check their phones at a market in central Istanbul, Turkey, July 18, 2019.
News

Early Release Program Should Seek to Lower Threat of Coronavirus for All Prisoners

The risk the coronavirus pandemic poses to staff and inmates in Turkey’s vastly overcrowded prisons has prompted the government to accelerate a plan to substitute prison time with alternatives such as early parole and house arrest. While a welcome…
Silivri Prison, Istanbul.
News

Ongoing Crackdown Undermines Credibility of Upcoming Elections, Say MEPs

The European Parliament today adopted a resolution condemning the continued deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi ahead of the May 2020 elections. It also called on authorities to drop charges and immediately and unconditionally release …
From left to right: Térence Mpozenzi, Agnès Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Egide Harerimana, and Adolphe Masabarakiza.
News

Lead Poisoning Victims Await Justice, Compensation

Yesterday was supposed to be a celebration at the United Nations. October 24 is United Nations Day, marking the day the UN Charter officially came into effect in 1945. The Charter includes the commitment to protect human rights. But on the…
Houses in Kosovo
News

Plan Increases Risks for Returned Refugees

Turkey’s plan to create a 32-kilometer “safe zone” in Syria where it could relocate one million Syrian refugees is woefully misguided and dangerous – and bound to fail. Turkey’s military operations in northeast Syria could displace civilians…
A Turkish soldier stands at the border with Syria in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.
News

Family Deserve Full Investigation and Justice

New information received by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Burundi supports what many have long suspected: Marie-Claudette Kwizera, the treasurer of the Burundian group Ligue Iteka, was targeted because of her human rights work and murdered…
Marie-Claudette Kwizera
News

UN Secretary-General has Authority to Identify Perpetrators

“It was premeditated,” concluded Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, describing the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. She added that the Washington Post reporter’s assassination on…
Candles lit by activists protesting the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are placed outside Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul. © 2018 Lefteris Pitarakis/AP Photo
News

UN Should Step Up Scrutiny of Abuses Ahead of 2020 Elections

Last week, several Security Council members signaled continued concern for the situation in Burundi, highlighting rising political repression linked to the upcoming 2020 elections, restrictions on independent media, and stalled regional…
The seat of Burundi delegation is pictured before a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Burundi in Geneva, Switzerland December 17, 2015.
News

Impunity Hampers Sustainable Peace

This week marks 20 years since the end of the Kosovo war. What began as systematic Serbian state oppression led to attacks by an ethnic Albanian armed group, a vicious government response, and 78 days of NATO airstrikes. …
201906eca_kosovoanniversary_photo0
News

Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.