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Attacks on Schools During the Nagorno-Karabakh War

  The first children died on the first day of the war. On September 27, 2020 a shell killed Victoria Gevorgyan. She was just 9 years of age. The shell landed in the yard of her home in the Martuni region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On the same…
A collage of eight images showing damage to schools
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New Research on Three Incidents from 2020 Conflict

Three unlawful attacks on medical facilities by Azerbaijani forces during the six-week armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh have come to light in recent Human Rights Watch research in the region. Human Rights Watch documented multiple unlawful…
View from the window of the Martakert military hospital, which was struck by Azerbaijani rocket artillery on October 14, 2020.
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Civilians Brutally Treated by Egypt’s Military and ISIS-Affiliate in North Sinai Conflict

  By a Middle East and North Africa Staff Member* When asked why he left Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, “Odeh” could only laugh, then pause. He struggles to answer any question that reminds him of his former life. Then, he told me the…
A woman yells as a neighbor’s house is destroyed. © 2014 Private
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Rohingya Children’s Education Blocked at Every Turn

Some of these children and their families resorted to buying Bangladeshi identity documents as the only way to secure a secondary school education and their future. Now, the authorities are targeting and expelling those students. Government policy is…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate
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The Stories From People With Disabilities Who Have Endured Humanitarian crises

Simplice – Central African Republic The frustration burned in Simplice Lenguy’s eyes as he spoke about the situation faced by people with disabilities since conflict erupted in the Central African Republic. In…
Ali, a 22-year-old Afghan asylum seeker with a disability, living in Moria camp, on the beach in Lesbos, Greece. He told Human Rights Watch he can’t access showers in the camp and sometimes tries to wash himself in the sea.
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Rohingya Refugee Has Spent 4 Years on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island

He made the journey from Burma by boat to Thailand, to Malaysia, to Indonesia, and then to Australia’s Christmas Island. But when his boat reached Australian waters, Australian immigration officials questioned him and transferred him to a detention center…
Refugees and asylum seekers protest against Australia’s offshore processing policy at a detention center on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.
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Leila Alieva realized she was on the Azerbaijani government’s radar in June 2014. Only a few months later, in August, she would board a plane to flee the country she called home. Now, more than two years later, she still hasn’t been able to return.…
More than two years later, activist Leila Alieva still hasn’t been able to return to Azerbaijan.
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Elchin Abdullayev was an election observer in Baku in October 2003 when he was arrested for compiling evidence of election violations and openly protesting against them. He was thrown in jail and tortured so badly that he had to be hospitalized. …
Elchin Abdullayev, human rights activist in Azerbaijan
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Growing up in Soviet Azerbaijan, Zohrab Ismayil learned first-hand how people barely benefited from the country’s natural resource wealth. Witnessing this inequality prompted Zohrab to join the fight for his country’s independence, which came…
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Leyla Yunus’s family in Azerbaijan suffered the worst of Bolshevism and then Stalinism, as her relatives were shot or sent to internal exile. Her grandfather, who died when she was 18, told her that although he was sent to prison, he avoided being sent to…
2014_Azerbaijan_LeylaYunus
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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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It was about two o’clock in the afternoon, on a warm December day in 2013, when the sound of gunshots and frantic shouting abruptly woke Ambroise Andet from his midday nap. Startled, the 27-year-old propped himself up where he had been sleeping and looked…
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2014 Recipient of the 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 these courageous activists to create a world in which people…
Father Bernard Kinvi
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Abeba, a 31-year-old Muslim woman who worked for a local government branch of Ethiopia’s youth and sports office, was at work when Ethiopian security officials detained her and took her to a military camp. The authorities accused her of…
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More than 50 million viewers of the Kony 2012 viral video now know that Joseph Kony, founder and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is a wanted man with the blood of many on his hands. Human Rights Watch has spent years investigating the horrors…
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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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During the weeks of protests that led to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's downfall, you saw Egyptian men and women standing together, side-by-side in the crowds. Across the Middle East, women have taken to the streets. In Egypt and Tunisia, women…