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Justice Falls Short for Survivors; No Accountability for State Officials

This week a court in Lubumbashi in southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo found 10 male inmates guilty of rape, arson, and attempted escape during riots at Kasapa central prison in September 2020. All the defendants, most of whom were already serving…
Survivors of the September 2020 mass rape at Kasapa central prison, veiled to protect their identity from the public, attend trial proceedings at Kasapa central prison, Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 11, 2021.
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Sagaing Massacre Latest in Military’s Escalating Terror Campaign

In a year where atrocities by Myanmar’s military have been commonplace, credible reports of a massacre of 11 people, including 5 children, who were bound, shot, and then burned, have sparked revulsion and outrage. Photos and video circulated online…
A person walks by a destroyed village
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Justice, Solidarity Crucial to Confront Abuses Past and Present

On December 10, 2019, Abubacarr Tambadou, then Gambia’s justice minister, posed a question to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. “Why is the world standing by and allowing such horrors again in our lifetime?” It was the first…
Anti-coup protesters run from teargas deployed by the police during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar, March 1, 2021.
News

Allegedly Embezzled Millions Helped Deprive Congolese of Their Rights

Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo confirmed last week that they had opened an inquiry following allegations of high-level corruption reported by a consortium of media and international groups. Investigators from 18 countries, working…
ormer President Joseph Kabila speaks during the state of the nation address
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Satellite Imagery, Thermal Anomalies Data Show Numerous Burnings

Since October 29, numerous fires have severely damaged Thantlang, a remote town in Myanmar’s northwestern Chin State. The evidence from space is undeniable: residential homes, places of worship, commercial buildings, and more have been reduced to ash…
A screenshot of accumulated fire detections
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New satellite data analyzed by Human Rights Watch corroborates images and videos streaming out of Myanmar’s Chin State showing towns once again on fire. Human Rights Watch reviewed thermal anomaly data collected by an environmental satellite sensor…
202111asia_myanmar_thantlang_fire
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Stronger International Pressure Needed to End Abuses

“They placed a plastic bag over my head to suffocate me. They did this three times…. They held mock executions.… They pointed a rifle at me and pulled the trigger repeatedly.” This is how a detainee in Myanmar, recently released after arrest for…
Aerial image of uniformed police officers detaining a protester
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Authorities Should Ensure Apostle Chiwenga’s Safety, Free Speech Rights

An outspoken street preacher and prominent critic of Zimbabwe’s government, Apostle Talent Chiwenga, has fled his house following heightened surveillance of his church and home in Harare by people in unmarked vehicles. Yesterday, Chiwenga told me…
Apostle T.F Chiwenga, 2021
News

Criminal Charges Brought Against Group Alleging Corruption

Today marks three months since Congolese authorities detained Parfait Muhani, a 31-year-old pro-democracy activist, in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following a complaint brought by a foundation established by the wife of Congo’s…
Parfait Muhani (left),  Ghislain Muhiwa
News

Burmese Artists Send Message to France, Global Community to Address Rights

The Myanmar military’s February 1 coup sparked the largest and most widespread protests in the country's recent history, showing people’s determination not to be dragged back into a dark past of military dictatorship. The military responded with…
Installation of the exhibition Fighting Fear #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar Place du Palais Royal in Paris
News

Demonstrate that Undocumented Migrants Won’t Be Arrested

Recent statements by Malaysia’s new health minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, that everyone in the country is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine regardless of documentation status, are a welcome nod toward more equitable access to vaccines. But unless the…
A health worker gestures to the next vaccine recipient at Malaysia International Trade & Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on May 31, 2021.
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Authorities Should End Mistreatment of Prisoners, Allow Investigations

This week, apparently hacked videos of surveillance cameras in Iran’s Evin prison, in the capital Tehran, have confirmed many of the patterns of abusive treatment and violations of due process human rights groups have documented for decades. These…
In this undated frame grab taken from video shared with The Associated Press by a self-identified hacker group called "The Justice of Ali," a guard hits a prisoner, at Evin prison in Tehran, Iran. 
News

Junta Packs Jails with Opponents as Virus Thrives

Myanmar’s Covid-19 crisis is spiraling out of control, as the coronavirus spreads among the most marginalized populations, including those in the country’s prisons. The escalation of politically motivated arrests since the February 1 military coup…
People stand outside the gates of a prison
News

Appointment Risks Undermining Disarmament and Recovery

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi recently announced the launch of a long-awaited Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization program, meant to encourage thousands of fighters from more than 100 armed…
Militiamen of the armed group URDPC/CODECO in the village of Wadda, Ituri Province, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on September 19, 2020.
News

Investigate Girl’s Murder, Protect Children from Abuse

The heart-wrenching case of a 14-year-old girl who died during childbirth at an Apostolic church in Marange, in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province, has sent shockwaves across the country. According to reports, the girl, Memory Machaya, who had been forced out…
A group of child brides at Annandale farm, Shamva, Mashonaland Central Province after participating in a community meeting on ending child marriage.
News

Exiled Activist Jean-Jacques Lumumba Targeted in Europe and Kinshasa

Last week, Jean-Jacques Lumumba, former banker and well-known whistleblower from the Democratic Republic of Congo, believed that he was being followed while en route to Brussels’ main train station. Yet, he stuck to his plans and took a train to…
Congolese whistleblower Jean-Jacques Lumumba near Paris, France, October 2019.
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Implement Motlanthe Commission’s Recommendations; Investigate Security Forces

After Zimbabwe’s August 2018 presidential election, I witnessed violent abuses on the streets of Harare, the capital, when uniformed soldiers indiscriminately fired live ammunition at people protesting delayed election results. In a Twitter post,…
Zimbabween soldiers stand guard as citizens run through the Harare's streets, on August 1, 2018.
News

Crowded Camp Conditions, Lack of Permanent Shelters

Heavy rains over the past week have displaced more than 21,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. The resulting flooding and mudslides have destroyed about 6,418 shelters. With months of monsoon season still ahead, the refugees face heightened risks…
Rohingya refugees repair a shelter damaged following heavy rains at the refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh on July 28, 2021.
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Rising Opposition to Discriminatory Nationality Bill

On July 18, Jacky Ndala, youth leader for the political party Together for the Republic (Ensemble pour la République), noticed unusual activity outside his house in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a message widely…
Jacky Ndala.
News

Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Was Champion of Democracy and Human Rights

Tributes have been pouring in from all corners of the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond for Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, a fearless human rights defender who died July 11 at age 81. A few days earlier, he had been flown from Congo to Versailles,…
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo from the Democratic Republic of Congo arrives at the Synod hall in the Vatican on February 13, 2015.