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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

Security Force Raid That Killed 20 Blamed on False Information

On December 31, Iraqi security forces killed 20 people from a single family in a raid on a home in Jableh district in Babil governorate, south of Baghdad. Security forces carried out the raid after reportedly receiving false information about a…
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News

Hopes for Accessible Voting on Election Day Dashed

In the weeks leading up to the October 10 parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) promised to take steps to ensure people with disabilities could vote. But on election day, videos circulated suggested IHEC’s…
A man helps his mother as she casts her ballot during the parliamentary elections in Basra, Iraq on October 10, 2021.
News

Clearer Standards and Vetting Can Help Protect Survivors

Controversy swirled last week around the award-winning film Sabaya, which covers the dramatic rescue of abused Yezidi women abducted and enslaved by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. At the heart of the issue is how to obtain informed…
A 22-year-old Iraqi Yezidi woman carries her 2-year-old son at her home in al-Hasakeh, northeastern Syria, on November 23, 2020.
News

Progress Toward Accessibility Ahead of Elections, but Gaps Remain

Next week, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections, but many people with disabilities are effectively denied their right to vote due to discriminatory legislation and inaccessible polling places. Iraq, plagued by decades of violence and war, has one…
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

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

The Government Should Follow Through on Pledges

Since I started covering Iraq for Human Rights Watch in 2016, enforced disappearances have been one of my main areas of research because, sadly, they are common. So I was heartened when Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, shortly…
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Government Should Protect LGBT People from Violence, Discrimination

William Alejandro Martínez, a trans man from Honduras, stood up for his rights when military police officers stopped him in Comayagüela in May 2019 and asked to see his identity card. They questioned him about his gender identity, physically assaulted…
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Subject: Human Rights Watch Amicus Curiae in the Case of Vicky Hernández and Family v. Honduras I. Introduction Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) respectfully submits this brief to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“Inter-American Court” or “this…
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Lack of Action After Torching of TV Station Raises Fresh Fears for Reporters’ Safety

A well-known TV station in Baghdad was torched by protesters after it broadcast a music concert during Ashura, a Shia holy day which was underway at the time. The offices of Dijlah TV station, which has …
The office of Dijlah TV station in Baghdad was badly damaged after it was torched by protesters on August 31, 2020.
News

Independent Review Recommends Funding to Address Harms

An external review of the World Bank Group’s private funding institutions found that social and environmental abuses caused by their development projects went largely unaddressed, leaving victims without remedies. The review focused on the…
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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

Kurdistan Region Authorities Squelch Protest, Make Pre-Emptive Arrests

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRI) authorities have just hammered another nail into the proverbial coffin of free expression in Iraq, arresting dozens in an effort to prevent a planned protest. According to a journalist  and two teachers from…
A view of the city of Dohuk in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
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

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.…
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UN Report Finds Unfair Trials, Torture, Overreliance on Confessions

Over the past two years, Iraqi courts have processed more than 20,000 terrorism cases against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects, including hundreds of children. But a new United Nations report finds that far from…
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Government Should Stop Abuses Against Protesters

As protests in Iraq enter their third month, the numbers of arrests, abductions, and killings of protesters continue to rise. But instead of protecting the demonstrators mostly peacefully protesting on Iraq’s streets, some security…
Protesters gather while security forces close River Street during ongoing anti-government protests in Baghdad, Iraq, December 10, 2019.
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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

Netherlands Remained Silent Over Role in 2015 Airstrike For Four Years

Recent news reports have exposed Dutch involvement in an airstrike in Iraq in June 2015 that killed at least 70 civilians, with the Minister of Defense finally admitting on November 5, 2019 that the ministry had known about the deaths…
Royal Netherlands Air Force F- 16 military fighter jets participating in NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission operates in Lithuanian airspace during a Ramstein Alloy air force exercise, Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
News

Iraq’s Allies Should Condemn Lethal Crackdown by Security Forces

Today the UN Human Rights Council will hold a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session to examine Iraq’s human rights records. The rash of killings of protestors by Iraqi security forces over the past month should at the front of…
Iraqi security forces fire tear gas to disperse protesters during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019.