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Recommendations Should Focus on Judicial Independence, Free Elections, End to Repression

On January 25, United Nations Human Rights Council members will review Venezuela’s abysmal human rights record during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The review presents an opportunity to expose Venezuela’s authorities’ blatant disregard for…
Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019.
News

Decree Allows for Third Gender Option in Identification Documents

Starting July 21, 2021, Argentina’s National Identity Document and passports now include a third gender category, “X,” allowing people to choose to be designated other than female or male. The move makes Argentina the first country in Latin America to…
President Alberto Fernández (center) with other authorities and members of social organizations, form an 'X', at the Bicentennial Museum in Casa Rosada, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 21, 2021
News

Nutrition Aid is Essential to Address Food Insecurity, Malnutrition

On April 19, the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations’ food assistance branch, announced it had reached an agreement with the Nicolás Maduro government, after over a year of negotiations, to deploy in Venezuela to supply food to young children…
A girl reaches for a tangerine at a soup kitchen in Petare, Venezuela, February 27, 2020. 
News

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

Migrants Held for Months in Dangerous Conditions Amid Pandemic

Since May, Venezuelan migrants detained in a detention facility administered by Aruba’s coast guard, the Guarda Nos Costa (GNC), have participated in four protests asking to be returned to Venezuela. To understand why anyone amid the Covid-19…
A photo showing the outside of a Guarda Nos Costa (GNC) immigration detention center in Aruba.
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

Government Failure to Address Chronically Dire Prison Conditions

The events in which at least 47 people died and 75 were injured on May 1st in Venezuela’s Los Llanos prison in Guanare, Portuguesa state are an alarming reminder of the awful prison conditions that Venezuela has historically failed to address.…
Prisoners stand on the roof of the "Reten de Cabimas" detention center to demand prison guards let their families, below, enter with food on visitor day in Cabimas, Venezuela, November 17, 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

On World Water Day, Marginalized Populations Still Lack Access to Basic Hygiene Measures

  Today is World Water Day, but as the world braces for the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little to celebrate. The need for good hygiene like handwashing is key to protecting public health and responding to the virus.…
202003us_water_coronavirus
News

Decision Based on Reports of Severe Human Rights Abuses in Venezuela

On December 5, Brazil’s refugee agency (CONARE) granted asylum to 21,432 Venezuelans . Until then, CONARE had granted asylum to a total of just 263. There are currently 224,000 Venezuelans living in Brazil. In June, CONARE…
Venezuelan children play in a refugee shelter in Boa Vista, Roraima state, Brazil, August 26, 2018.
News

UN Human Rights Council Should Create an Independent Fact-Finding Mission

The Venezuelan government is trying hard to convince the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) members that it is committed to working with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and High Commissioner…
Riot police clash with anti-government demonstrators in the neighborhood of Los Mecedores, in Caracas, on January 21, 2019.
News
Washington, D.C., May 8, 2019 Honorable Justice Hernán Salgado Pesantes President of the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court Quito – ECUADOR Case: 0014-19-IN Subject: Human Rights Watch Amicus curiae on Venezuelan…
News

Fate of Asylum Seekers in Curaçao Continues to Cause Concern

The devastating crisis in Venezuela has triggered the largest migration flow of its kind in recent Latin American history. But not all those who flee seeking safety in the Americas will get a fair hearing.  For example,…
Colombian police officers stand in front of people queueing to try to cross into Colombia from Venezuela through the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia. January 24, 2018.
News

Denying Crisis, Government Keeps Venezuelans in the Dark

September 28 is the International Day for Universal Access to Information. As UNESCO frames it, “Universal Access” is bound up with the right to seek and receive information, an integral piece of the right to free expression. …
Venezuela’s Journalists Can’t be Silenced
News

The Humanitarian Crisis’ Disproportionate Impact on Older People

I met Fernando Arvelo (pseudonym), a 74-year-old Venezuelan, at a soup kitchen in Cúcuta, the main Colombian city across the border from Táchira state in Venezuela. Fernando moved to Táchira from his home state – a 20-hour drive – soon after his wife,…
A 74-year-oldVenezuelan man eats lunch at a soup kitchen in Cúcuta, a Colombian city across the Venezuelan border, July 28, 2018.
News

Venezuelan Crisis needs to be a Council Priority

No one was surprised when Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected last May, or when the opposition alleged voting irregularities. Unofficial reports estimated low voter turnout, less than 40%, despite government officials’ frantic attempts to…
A girl wears a Venezuelan flag as Venezuelan security forces block access to opposition supporters and mourners of rogue ex-policeman Oscar Perez to the main morgue of the city, in Caracas, Venezuela January 20, 2018.
News

Pedro Jaimes Criollo Has Not Been Seen for Nearly a Month

On May 10, Pedro Jaimes Criollo saw three men in plainclothes emerge from a car without plates in front of his home as he was arriving. They identified themselves as members of the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN),…
Pedro Jaimes Criollo was allegedly taken to the Helicoide prison in Caracas, which is administered by the Venezuelan intelligence services and holds several political prisoners.
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.