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Authorities Chaotic Prisoner Release Punishes Hopeful Relatives

On April 30, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad granted a general amnesty for “Syrian citizens detained on ‘terrorism-related’ crimes,’” except for crimes that resulted in death. The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has documented the release of…

Piecemeal Releases Do Not Mean Fundamental Policy Shift

During the last days of Ramadan, on April 24, Egyptian authorities freed around 40 unjustly detained prisoners, among them journalists, activists, and human rights defenders, many of whose families have tirelessly pushed for their release for years…

Lama’s Death Shrouded in Government Campaign of Secrecy, Persecution

Despite draconian controls on the flow of information between Tibet and the outside world, word recently emerged of the death of an 86-year-old lama named Tulku Dawa in Lhasa, and attempts by the Chinese government to keep it secret. Tulku Dawa had…

Syria Passes Law Criminalizing Torture

This is not an April Fools’ joke. Syria, where torture is routine and pervasive, has passed a law criminalizing the practice. In an announcement that might have appeared as satire, the Syrian State News Agency (SANA) reported that the Syrian…
Women hold banners with phrases on them. One reads, "Where are they?"

Four Dozen Canadians Languish in Squalid Camps

April marks the beginning of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide, a month of fasting, patience, and compassion that many here in Canada will mark surrounded by friends and family. But for some Canadian-Muslims, there is little to celebrate given the…
A girl stands in front of a chainlink fence

Foreign Interference, Harassment of Students and Academics

On Friday, the Australian parliament’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security released their long-awaited report examining foreign interference at Australian universities. During their inquiry, the committee heard evidence that Chinese…
Two students walking on a university campus

Journalists Fight to Keep Diverse Voices on Air

Tunisian President Kais Saied has set about dismantling institutional checks on his authority since his July power grab, and state television is an obvious target. Before the 2011 revolution that ousted authoritarian President Zine el-Abidine Ben…
A group of people holding protest signs in Arabic

Government Should Treat All Refugees Equally

Shortly after Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine, the Danish Immigration Service reportedly asked Denmark’s 98 municipalities to assess their capacity to take in Ukrainian refugees. This same agency recently began stripping Syrian refugees of their…
Protesters hold red heart-shaped signs

European Courts Offer Survivors a Path Toward Accountability

Today marks eleven years since the peaceful uprising in Syria descended into a brutal armed conflict, and comprehensive justice for countless abuses committed during the crisis remains elusive. While many avenues for prosecuting war crimes and…
3 women hold framed photographs

International Protections Provided to Ukrainians Can Still Be Extended to Syrians

Over the past couple of years Syria has settled into a grim status quo: a crumbling economy, a fragmented nation, and the continued peril refugees face from forced returns home. Yet in the lead-up to the 11th anniversary of the Syrian revolution,…
People display Syrian flags at a demonstration

European Leaders Should Denounce Abuses, Address Egypt’s Rights Crisis Under al-Sisi

Visiting Brussels for a summit between the European Union and the African Union this week, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is eyeing a series of separate high-profile meetings as another opportunity to boost his tainted image. But instead of…
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attend a joint press conference at the Elysee palace, December 7, 2020 in Paris.

Tokyo Should Build on New Momentum by Condemning Serious Abuses

Just days before the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics opening ceremony, Japanese lawmakers passed a Diet resolution highlighting human rights issues in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Inner Mongolia. Specifically, the February 1 resolution calls for the “…

Censorship, Propaganda Warp Public Opinion in China

“All efforts to save the Winter Olympics.” “Make way for the Winter Olympics.” These phrases have repeatedly appeared in Chinese news reports over the past few months. When the 2022 Winter Olympics officially kick off in Beijing on February 4, the…
Chinese paramilitary police walk on the Olympic Green at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing

‘Dinner’ with Chinese Tennis Player Peng Shuai Spotlights Athletes’ Plight

In November, Chinese tennis player and three-time Olympian Peng Shuai posted a sexual assault complaint on social media – then went silent. The hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai trended globally. Now, as the Winter Olympics begin this week in China, the…

Authorities Continue to Use Repressive Laws to Silence Critics

“I’m not sure whether to laugh, get angry, or feel utter frustration,” Myriam Bribri, a Tunisian activist told Human Rights Watch in response to the fine and four-month prison sentence a court in the city of Sfax gave her on December 21, 2021. Bribri…
A woman in sunglasses at a protest

Bloc Should Try to Block Cairo Membership Quest, Not Support It

The European Union (EU) may be about to present a joint bid with Egypt to co-lead the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, a multilateral platform with far-reaching influence on global counterterrorism policy, according to a recently leaked document. Given…
An Egyptian intelligence security detail member stands guard near a banner showing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Beijing’s Warning for Athletes at Winter Olympics Threatens Speech, Peaceful Protest

In the video, a skier is preparing for her big race at the Winter Olympics in China. She puts on her boots, her gloves, her helmet, and her googles. Then she covers her mouth in tape. Human Rights Watch has launched a video series with Chinese-…
Badiucao illustration of athlete with tape across her mouth

Free University of Amsterdam Hosts Pro-Beijing Human Rights Center

The Vrije Universiteit (Free University) of Amsterdam, which describes itself as “encouraging … broader minds,” is the latest academic institution to be embarrassed over problematic funding from the Chinese government.  Media reported this…
Main building of the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

Wife of Forcibly Disappeared Activist Dies in US, Unable to Reunite with Husband

“Never could I imagine the Chinese authorities were capable of such inhumane cruelty – to keep him locked up when my life is coming to an end,” said Zhang Qing, wife of the prominent Chinese human rights activist Guo Feixiong, in December. Zhang…

Russia, China Lead Efforts to Put Monitoring, Investigations on Chopping Block

United Nations member countries currently haggling over the organization’s 2022 budget should stand firm against Russia and China-led efforts to slash funding for UN human rights work. Every December, diplomats on the UN General Assembly’s fiscal…
UN General Assembly Hall
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