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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
News

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.
News

Attacks on Civilians in Idlib, Syria

On a hot morning in late May in the town of Ariha, in the northwest Syrian governorate of Idlib, Fadel Faham’s elderly mother woke him up at around 9:30 in the morning and asked him to go to their family’s café. He put on a light T-shirt to keep cool in…
On May 27 a large munition struck a residential area in the town of Ariha, across from the Banat Ariha school, killing at least 13 civilians and wounding at least 21, including four members of Fadel Faham’s.
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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
News

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
News

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.
News

Refugees in Jordan Suffer Collective Expulsions to Syria

Syrians who thought they had escaped their civil war by fleeing to neighboring Jordan have been summarily deported to their war-ravaged country without explanation. Jordan’s government says refugees are being sent back to protect national security…
A lone man crosses Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The camp population fell from 203,000 during its peak in April 2013 to 80,000 by July 2017.
News
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.
News
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
News
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…
2016-10-20-azerbaijan-zohrab-ismayil
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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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They survived treacherous boat journeys between Turkey and Greece, barbed wire in Hungary, and cascading border closures across the Balkans – a journey, mainly on foot, that took months. Now, safe in Germany, with the most dangerous part of their trek…
Hassan fled Damascus and after arriving in Berlin began volunteering at a refugee center, handing out clothes, food and baby carriages.
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Despite the chilly morning air in Berlin, Dr. Sami Sharif prefers to sit at one of the café’s outside tables, where he can smoke. He sips his espresso and smiles, as he tells me that when he was younger, he didn’t want to be a doctor at all, he wanted to…
The café where Dr. Sami Sharif was interviewed.
News
Samir is chatty and smart. Little of the 11-year-old’s confident demeanor reveals the horrors he has seen. Sitting bolt upright in one of his family’s two armchairs, the young Syrian politely answers questions, eager to share his story of uprooting and…
School supplies belonging to a Syrian refugee child enrolled in her local public school.
News

2015 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…
Yara Bader
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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
News
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.…