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For many Western observers, the Central Asian state of Uzbekistan has been a rare, positive example in the debate on whether authoritarian governments can change their ways. In this view, under a new president, Uzbekistan has since 2016 moved on from…
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev receives Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (not pictured) in Tashkent.
News

Deposed Political Leaders and Journalists Remain Detained

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta’s recent prisoner releases are limited in scope and do not reflect a broader change in the military’s respect for human rights, Human Rights Watch said today. On October 18, 2021, the State Administrative Council…
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News

At Least 4 Dead After Police Shoot Live Ammunition into Crowd

(New York) – The Bangladesh authorities should exercise caution and restraint in containing the deadliest spate of sectarian violence in Bangladesh in years, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should take immediate steps to protect Hindu…
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News

Broad Law Threatens Freedom of Expression, Association

(New York) – The Singapore government should withdraw a proposed law that significantly undermines the rights of activists, academics, journalists, and others to freedom of expression, association, and participation in public affairs and to…
Reporters record a speech by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as it is streamed on Facebook live during vote counting in the general election in Singapore, July 11, 2020.
News

Restrictions on Media Freedoms, Political Participation in Upcoming Vote

(Berlin) – Uzbek authorities have ramped up restrictions on media freedoms and kept opposition candidates off the ballot for the presidential election scheduled for October 24, 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. In releasing a question-and-…
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev receives Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (not pictured) in Tashkent.
News

Protect Hindus, Sikhs in Muslim-Majority Region

(New York) – Indian authorities should take urgent steps to protect minority communities that are being targeted by armed groups in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch said today. The government’s failure to address serious allegations of human…
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard next to teachers at a government school where suspected militants fatally shot two teachers on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, October 7, 2021.
News

Journalists Arbitrarily Detained, Beaten

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have imposed wide-ranging restrictions on media and free speech that are already stifling criticism and dissent, Human Rights Watch said today. During a late September meeting with journalists in…
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News

Justice Ministry Suing to Liquidate Belarusian Helsinki Committee

Update: On September 30, the Belarusian Supreme Court upheld the government’s move to liquidate the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. The ruling cannot be appealed. (Berlin) – The Belarusian Justice Ministry has filed a lawsuit to dissolve the…
A riot police officer guards the area in State Flag Square, Minsk, Belarus, with the Supreme Court building in the background.
News

End Crackdown on Independent Voices

(Berlin) – Russian authorities have taken punitive action against three local human rights defenders and their organizations in recent days, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities imposed arbitrary, draconian bureaucratic penalties against the…
The Russian flag flies on a courthouse building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15 2020.
News

Release Political Prisoners; Respect Right to Peaceful Assembly

(Dakar) – Cameroon’s authorities should ensure accountability for their security forces’ crackdown on opposition leaders, supporters, and peaceful protesters in September 2020, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. They should…
Demonstrators stopped by gendarmes and police in Bafang, West Cameroon, on September 22, 2020.
News

Stop Harassment of Activists, Journalists, Peaceful Protesters

(New York) – Indian authorities are using politically motivated allegations of tax evasion and financial irregularities to silence human rights activists, journalists, and other critics of the government. In September 2021, government financial…
Policemen at the entrance of Press Enclave, which houses several newspaper offices, in Srinagar, India, September 8, 2021. 
News

Beijing Seeking to Erase Memory of 1989 Tiananmen Massacre

(New York) – Hong Kong’s government should drop all charges against leaders of the civic group that had been holding annual mass vigils in Victoria Park commemorating the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre in China, 61 Hong Kong and…
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Proposed Amendments Threaten Media Freedom, Free Expression

(Seoul) - South Korea’s National Assembly should reject proposed amendments to the law on media arbitration that would undermine media freedom and freedom of expression, Article 19, Korean Progressive Network Jinbonet, Open Net Association, and…
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News

Privacy, Political Targeting Concerns; Lack of Regulation, Data Protection, Oversight

(Moscow) – Russian authorities continue expanding their use of facial recognition technology across the country, with no regulation, oversight, or data protection and against the backdrop of misidentification reports, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A surveillance camera operates in Red square near the Kremlin in Moscow.
News

Harasses Supreme Court, Signals He May Cancel Elections, Violates Free Speech

President Jair Bolsonaro is threatening democratic rule in Brazil, Human Rights Watch said today on International Day of Democracy. He is pursuing campaigns to intimidate the Supreme Court, signaling that he may attempt to cancel the 2022 election or…
The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, at a rally on September 07, 2021 in São Paulo, Brazil.
News

Women’s Autonomy Should Be at Center of Abortion Regulation

(Washington, DC, September 14, 2021) – Mexico's Supreme Court has issued two rulings that set important precedents for reproductive justice not only for Mexico but for the Americas, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 7, 2021, the Supreme…
A woman holds up a banner that reads "My body, I decide" during a rally to celebrate the decision of the Mexican Supreme Court that found the total criminalization of abortion to be unconstitutional, in Saltillo, Mexico September 7, 2021.
News

New Restrictions Indicate Crackdown on Free Speech

(New York) – Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have been detaining and assaulting journalists and imposing new restrictions on media work, Human Rights Watch said today. The Taliban should call a halt to the assaults, drop the restrictions, and…
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News

Allow Expert Access to Kazakhstan; Lift Ban

(Berlin) – Kazakh authorities have banned a Russian-American researcher from the country for five years in apparent efforts to stymy his work documenting abuses of ethnic minorities in neighboring China, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Gene Bunin
News

End Harassment, Prosecutions of Critics

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s new prime minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, should commit to respect the rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, which have long been suppressed in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia’s king appointed Ismail…
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