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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…
Nisha Ayub
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“It cannot be over-emphasized that when it comes to democracy, liberty of thought and expression is a cardinal value that is of paramount significance.” With these words, India’s Supreme Court, in a landmark judgment on March 24, struck down Section 66A…
News

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…
News

The "finger" test found to violate rights

After a man she was in a relationship with raped her, Sandhya went to a hospital for an examination and treatment. "The clerk told me a male doctor will conduct the test [forensic examination] and asked me whether that was ok," Sandhya, who is in her 20s…
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Fighting between the Burmese army and Kachin rebels reignited last June, displacing some 75,000 ethnic Kachin and leaving them in desperate need of food, medicine, and shelter. However, the Burmese government has blocked aid to conflict areas. Five days…
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The Burmese government yesterday freed at least 200 of its estimated 2,000 political prisoners. Officially, Burma denies having any such prisoners – but Human Rights Watch has worked hard to make sure these imprisoned activists weren’t forgotten. We held…
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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…
News

Border Guards Ordered to Stop Killing Bangladeshi Civilians

Just weeks after Human Rights Watch released a report on India’s Border Security Force’s (BSF) use of excessive and frequently lethal force, the Indian government ordered that BSF guards be issued non-lethal weapons. More than 900 Bangladeshi and Indian…
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Preventing needless suffering of the terminally ill in India

In January, years of joint advocacy by Human Rights Watch and Indian palliative care groups culminated in the Medical Council of India recognizing palliative care as a specialization of medicine and approving an MD Palliative Care program. Over time, this…
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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…
News
The Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch supports Iranian women activists and feminists in their call for freedom and equality.  For over three decades, Iranian women have resisted gender discrimination and been at the forefront on the struggle…
News
2009 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…
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Following advocacy by Human Rights Watch, the head of Iran’s Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi, suspended the sentence of a jailed women’s rights activist on November 10. The activist, Delaram Ali, was detained in 2006 after participating in a peaceful…
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Three months after Human Rights Watch reported that Bangladeshi authorities had destroyed a camp sheltering 6,000 Rohingya refugees from Burma, Bangladesh announced on June 20, World Refugee Day, that it will build a new camp to house 9,500 people. In…
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Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk has granted special asylum rights to lesbian and gay Iranians. According to the ministry’s October 18 statement, the decision was motivated by Human Rights Watch’s forthcoming report on serious and systematic abuse…
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Responding to pressure by Human Rights Watch and a broad coalition of other groups, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on October 19 exempted refugees from Burma’s Chin state from a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act that denies entry…
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Human Rights Watch will honor Omid Memarian, an Iranian human rights activist who has creatively used the internet to press for a more open and democratic political regime in Iran, with it highest honor, the Human Rights Watch Defender Award, on November…
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Citing Human Rights Watch’s work, Dutch members of parliament successfully pressured Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk not to deport lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) asylum-seekers back to Iran, where they face the threat of torture, ill-…
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The U.S. Embassy in India denied Gujarat State Chief Minister Narendra Modi a diplomatic visa and, citing violations of religious freedom, also revoked his existing ten-year business/tourist visa. We had extensively documented the chief minister's role in…
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Briefing to the 60th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Objective     The Commission on Human Rights should build upon the United Nations General Assembly’s resolution on the human rights situation in Iran by re-establishing a Special Procedure to monitor and report on Iran’s implementation of the resolution’s…