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Five years ago, police in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, forcibly evicted Nuriya Khalikova from her apartment in the city center, and detained her for several hours without legal grounds. While she was in custody, city authorities illegally demolished her…
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2015 Recipient of the Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism

UPDATE: On May 25, 2016, the Supreme Court ordered the release of Khadija Ismayilova from prison. While her conviction still stands and her freedoms are curtailed by the authorities, including her freedom of movement, this is a moment to celebrate. Human…
Khadija Ismayilova
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Human rights groups have long cried foul about Azerbaijan’s concerted efforts to silence critics by using bogus politically motivated charges. High-level officials, right up to President Ilham Aliyev, have always responded to these charges with strenuous…
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Fighting between the Burmese army and Kachin rebels reignited last June, displacing some 75,000 ethnic Kachin and leaving them in desperate need of food, medicine, and shelter. However, the Burmese government has blocked aid to conflict areas. Five days…
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The Burmese government yesterday freed at least 200 of its estimated 2,000 political prisoners. Officially, Burma denies having any such prisoners – but Human Rights Watch has worked hard to make sure these imprisoned activists weren’t forgotten. We held…
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Maikel Nabil, a 25-year imprisoned for blogging, has been on hunger strike at Marg prison since August 23 to protest his unjust imprisonment. The strike is of extra concern because he has low blood pressure and is taking medication for a heart condition.…
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Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
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Securing the Release of Detained Human Rights Activists in Egypt

At the height of Egypt’s 18-day revolution, Human Rights Watch Senior Researcher Daniel Williams was detained during a military-led raid on Cairo’s Hisham Mubarak Law Center, a pioneering Egyptian human rights organization. Human Rights Watch immediately…
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2009 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism Human Rights Watch's Alison Des Forges Award celebrates the valor of individuals who put their lives on the line to protect the dignity and rights of others. Human Rights Watch collaborates with…
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Four Years on, Trial Should Be Re-Examined and Allegations of Torture Investigated

(New York) - Azerbaijan's Court of Appeal should promptly grant three teenagers accused and sentenced for murder in June 2007 a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today, on the four year anniversary of their detention. The three all maintain that they…
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Amicus Brief to the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Khouzam v. Secretary Chertoff, et al.

Despite evidence that he would be tortured on return, the US government seeks to deport Sameh Sami S. Khouzam to Egypt on the basis of diplomatic assurances from the Egyptian government that Khouzam will not be tortured in Egyptian custody.  Human Rights…
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On November 5, a Cairo court sentenced police Capt. Islam Nabih and Reda Fathi, a noncommissioned officer, to three years in prison for sexually assaulting `Imad al-Kabir, a microbus driver from the Giza neighborhood of Bulaq al-Dakrur, while he was in…
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Three months after Human Rights Watch reported that Bangladeshi authorities had destroyed a camp sheltering 6,000 Rohingya refugees from Burma, Bangladesh announced on June 20, World Refugee Day, that it will build a new camp to house 9,500 people. In…
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On May 30, Egypt’s General Public Prosecutor ordered the release of Abd al-Monim Mahmud, a prominent TV journalist and blogger who was arrested April 14 for criticizing torture. Immediately following his arrest, Human Rights Watch publicly called for his…
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Responding to pressure by Human Rights Watch and a broad coalition of other groups, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on October 19 exempted refugees from Burma’s Chin state from a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act that denies entry…
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Human Rights Watch played a key role in helping to stop the deportation of hundreds of Sudanese demonstrators who were violently removed from their Cairo encampment by Egyptian police. Approximately 3,000 Sudanese refugees and migrants lived in a…
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Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch's senior emergencies researcher, called it "some of the worst political violence I've seen in my career." On October 15, election day in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, opposition members took to the streets in protest…
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In June and July 2002, Human Rights Watch investigated abuses of Egyptian children arrested for being "liable to perversion" -- a category that includes children who are homeless, begging, truants, or mentally ill. We submitted our preliminary findings to…
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For the second time this year, Egypt's Court of Cassation quashed the guilty verdicts handed down by the Supreme State Security Court against university professor and democracy activist Saadeddin Ibrahim. Human Rights Watch has closely monitored the…