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Withhold Votes for Serious Rights Violators Cameroon, Eritrea, UAE

(New York) – A noncompetitive United Nations election for Human Rights Council members virtually guarantees seats for candidate countries with abysmal rights records. UN member countries should refrain from voting for Cameroon, Eritrea, United Arab…
UN General Assembly Hall
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Urgent Need to Improve Accessibility Before Upcoming Elections

(Beirut) – People with disabilities in Iraq are facing significant obstacles to participating in upcoming parliamentary elections on October 10, 2021, due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places, Human Rights Watch said in a…
A voter who uses a wheelchair at a polling place in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on May 12, 2018. 
News

Displaced Iraqis’ Rights Trampled Repeatedly

(Beirut) – The Iraqi army has unlawfully evicted dozens of families from a village north of Baghdad since July 2021 in an apparent family feud involving a government minister, Human Rights Watch said today. The 91 families from al-Aetha, a village in…
Government buses waiting to move families from one camp in Anbar governate to another during a previous wave of camp closures in December 2018.  © 2018 Belkis Wille/Human Rights Watch
News

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
News

Appeals Court Should Consider Flagrant Irregularities

(Beirut) – A court in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq sentenced three journalists and two activists to six years in prison on February 16, 2021, in deeply flawed proceedings, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities continue to hold two other…
Families of the journalists and activists on trial on February 16, 2021, sitting outside the Erbil District Court of Appeal.
News

Important Step, but More Action Needed to Rein in Continued Attacks

(Beirut) – On February 15, Iraqi authorities detained at least four men, with alleged ties to a unit within the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF or Hashad, formally under the control of the prime minister) who are alleged to have killed at least four…
Ali Naseer Alawy, after armed masked men beat him and used an acid mixture to try to remove a tattoo on his arm.
News

Improved Trials Should Be Replicated

(Beirut) – A special committee of judges to adjudicate cases of children in detention in Iraq for alleged links to the Islamic State (ISIS) during the first half of 2020 appeared to comply with international human rights standards better than other…
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British Authorities Have Dismal Record of Addressing War Crimes

(London) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s decision to close a preliminary examination of alleged war crimes by British forces in Iraq is likely to fuel the perception of a double standard in international justice, Human Rights…
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Lawmakers to Decide on Abusive Cybercrimes Measure

(Beirut) – Iraqi lawmakers are considering a draft law on information technology crimes that could be used to stifle free expression, Human Rights Watch said today. Free speech is already under attack in Iraq, and on November 23, 2020 lawmakers…
The opening session of Iraq’s new parliament on September 3, 2018 in Baghdad, Iraq.
News

Boost Stalled Investigation into Killing of 8 in Rural Village

(Nairobi) – Authorities in Somalia should intensify their investigation into the abduction and apparent summary execution of seven health workers and a pharmacist in May 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Six months on, government investigations…
An ambulance transports patients to a  hospital from a camp for the internally displaced people on the outskirts Mogadishu, Somalia, March 2017.
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Government Should Show Progress on Pledge to Locate Victims

(Beirut) – Iraqi authorities should fulfill a commitment to locate victims of enforced disappearance and ensure that those responsible are held accountable, Human Rights Watch said today. Since taking office in May 2020, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-…
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Unlawful Action Allegedly Politically Motivated

(Beirut) – Kurdish authorities have unlawfully closed two offices of a private media outlet, NRT, for over a month, apparently for covering protests and for broadcasts critical of the ruling party, Human Rights Watch said today. The Kurdish…
The NRT headquarters in Sulaymaniyah, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
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Hundreds of Protesters Dead Since October 2019; No High-Level Prosecutions

This version of the news release has been updated to indicate that the 560 killed during the demonstrations includes protesters and security forces. (Beirut) – Unidentified gunmen have since August 14, 2020, assassinated two protesters and…
Protesters take part in an anti-government demonstration outside the provincial council building in Basra, Iraq, August 17, 2020. 
News

Trip Covers Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar

(Tokyo) – Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi should forcefully raise human rights concerns on an upcoming regional trip, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the foreign minister. Motegi will visit Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos,…
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi meets the media in Tokyo on May 28, 2020. 
News

End to Institutional Living, Implement Right to Live in the Community

(Brussels) – Serbia’s government should collect and make public the data on Covid-19 infections and deaths inside institutions for people with disabilities, six organizations for people with disabilities and human rights groups said today in a letter…
A room in the Sremčica Home for children and adults with disabilities where 292 persons, including 49 children, with disabilities live. Up to 10 people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
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Ankara Should Investigate Attacks Harming Civilians, Compensate Victims

(Beirut) - A Turkish military attack on an Iranian armed group in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in late June 2020 failed to take adequate precautions to minimize civilian casualties, Human Rights Watch said today. The apparent airstrike, on June 25…
Payman Thalib Thaher lost her left leg in the Turkish airstrike at Kuna Masi water resort on June 25, 2020.
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Lift Unlawful Restrictions on Thousands

(Beirut) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is preventing about 1,200 Arab families from returning home to 5 villages more than 6 years after the area was retaken from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today. KRG…
Map of five villages in Rabia subdistrict that the Kurdistan Regional Government has prevented Arab residents from returning to. 
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Witness Protection Essential

(Brussels) – The indictment made public on June 24, 2020 against Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and other former Kosovo Liberation Army leaders advances justice for war crimes and crimes against humanity during and after the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, Human…
Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. © 2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
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Reform Penal Code, Other Laws

A spike in violations of the right to free expression during widespread protests at the end of the former government’s term in office and during the Covid-19 pandemic underscores the need for Iraq’s new government to reform its laws, Human Rights…
Woman holding up a sign in Arabic
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Government, Parliament Should Prioritize Human Rights Legislation

(Beirut) – The Iraqi government and parliament should pass legislation to address key human rights shortcomings in Iraq’s legal system and take measures to minimize the risks Covid-19 poses to people in prison, Human Rights Watch…
The opening session of Iraq’s new parliament on September 3, 2018 in Baghdad, Iraq.