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President Frees Prisoners but More Remain

The numbers were down from the hundreds of thousands who filled the streets of Algerian cities when the “Hirak” protest movement began, but the thousands who marched February 22, despite Covid-19 restrictions, to mark the Hirak’s second anniversary,…
Algerians demonstrate in Algiers to mark the second anniversary of the Hirak movement, February 22, 2021. 
News

Freedom of Belief Article Dropped — and All Pretense of Respecting It?

It is sadly commonplace that many countries that respect human rights the least have constitutions that respect human rights the most. Iraq’s constitution under Saddam Hussein, for example, guaranteed freedom of expression, assembly, religion, privacy…
Yacine Mebarki
News

Two Prosecutions Highlight Threats to Press Freedom

Morocco and Algeria are neighbors and rivals, sharing one of the world’s longest closed-land borders, vying for diplomatic supremacy in the Maghreb region, sparring over Western Sahara, and insulting each other’s governments daily via state-influenced…
Journalists Khaled Drareni (Left) and Omar Radi (Right)
News

President Pledges Wide Consultation on Draft While Reporters, Protest Leaders Locked Up

If imprisoned Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni managed to get a copy of the draft constitution Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune circulated in early May, he might savor the irony. The draft – like the current constitution – provides that “…
An Algerian demonstrator holds the Algerian national flag as he stage a protest against the government in Algiers, Algeria, Friday, Nov.29, 2019. 
News

Protesters Languish in Prison for Peaceful Dissent

For some authoritarians, the coronavirus tragedy has presented a golden opportunity to grab more power and trample rights. Hungary’s parliament has voted to allow Prime Minister Victor Orban to rule by decree indefinitely, and in Hong…
Security forces stand at a checkpoint to enforce a curfew aiming to prevent the spread of corona virus in Algiers, Algeria, April 8, 2020.
News

Transform Pioneering Work on Child Protection into Action

The global campaign to insulate schools and students from the ravages of war gained momentum today with a string of four new endorsements of the Safe Schools Declaration. The announcements by Djibouti, Macedonia, San Marino, and Peru…
201807americas_bolivia_girlssoccer
News

Eastern Caribbean LGBT Activists Seek Protection, Not Marriage

After Human Rights Watch released a report on discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and buggery laws in the Eastern Caribbean, a government minister from Barbados warned against “an attempt to transpose and to…
An unknown man on the Eastern Caribbean island of Barbados.
News

Eastern Caribbean People Should Know Rihanna Has Spoken Out for LGBT People

“Why are we homophobic in Barbados and other countries in the Eastern Caribbean?” a popular host of a morning television show in Barbados asked me. I was on the island – and his show – to talk about a new Human Rights Watch report about…
Rihanna Drive, Barbados.
News

Children Can No Longer Marry with Parental Consent

Malawi’s parliament took a historic step towards ending child marriage last week, when it removed from its Constitution a provision allowing children between the ages of 15 and 18 to marry with parental consent. Now, the minimum age of marriage…
News

Villagers Now Able to Seek Information From the Government

As Malawi’s government promotes investment in mining and resource extraction, ordinary Malawians have been struggling to access information on the impact of mining operations on their lives: Is mining polluting their drinking water? Their fields? Last…
Young girl washing dishes at a borehole near Eland coal mine in Mwabulambo, Karonga district.
News

Opposition to Withdrawal by States

The African Union made headlines Tuesday for purportedly agreeing to mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court. The reality is more complex. The decision by AU member states welcomes the announced withdrawals by South Africa,…
A general view shows the headquarters of the African Union (AU) building in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 29, 2017.
News

Decision to Redefine Childhood Should Help Deter Child Marriage

Malawi has made a commitment to amend its conflicting laws on the definition of a child, a move that will help in the fight against child marriage. Malawi’s constitution and the Child Care, Protection and Justice Act define a…
A 14-year-old girl holds her baby at her sister’s home in a village in Kanduku, in Malawi’s Mwanza district. She married in September 2013, but her husband chased her away. Her 15-year-old sister, in the background, married when she was 12.
News

Governments Should Ensure Respect for Rights of Rural Women

Rojaina and her children used to live in a brick house in a small village in rural Malawi. After a coal mine started operating nearby, she was told to leave her house as the land was needed for mining. Rojaina and her children were given little money to…
Rojaina N., under the tree that served as a shelter for her family and where she and her family lived for a couple of weeks after their relocation due to coal mining operations in Mwabulambo, Karonga district.
News

Pushback Against AU Call for Withdrawal

The 27th African Union (AU) summit closed Monday evening without an AU call for immediate mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court in the face of strong pushback from Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, and even ICC non-member Algeria,…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
News
“I feel very sad when I see small girls getting married. They don’t know the hard life that awaits them,” said Danira, who was married at age 14. “I wish I had gone to school. Life could be better for me because I could get a job.” Today, the…
News
PRESENTS AMICUS CURIAE José Miguel Vivanco presents this amicus brief to the Constitutional Court in the case with file number 9304-2014-19-AIA on behalf of Human Rights Watch, located at 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor, New York, NY 10118-3299.…
News
Nineteen-year-old Elina V. was 15 and in school when her grandmother forced her to marry a 24-year-old man. “I had to look after my husband, do housework, deal with in-laws, and work on the farm,” she told me. “My worst time was when I was pregnant. I had…
News
Algeria has given Human Rights Watch entry visas for the first time since 2005. Back for the first time in years, I find the families of those “disappeared” during the bloody civil war in the 1990s still holding regular demonstrations, chanting “Give us…
News
As Malawi celebrates the International Day of the Girl today, will President Peter wa Mutharika do what it takes to better the lives of the country’s girls and women? In his inaugural speech in June, Malawi’s newly elected fifth president set out his…
News
The Bolivian Congress passed a misguided bill last week that would allow children as young as 10 to work legally. If President Morales signs the bill into law, Bolivia will become the only country in the world with a legal employment age so low.…