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Dissenting Voices and Activists Forced into Exile

(Moscow) – Russian authorities unleashed a full-fledged witch hunt on civic groups, independent media and journalists, political opposition and other critics in the run-up to the parliamentary election in September 2021, Human Rights Watch said today…
Police detain protesters at a rally against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg, January 31, 2021.
News

Punishment of Dissent; Impunity

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence and judicial authorities continued their crackdown on dissent in 2021, while lawmakers passed and debated laws that further violate human rights, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2022. Over the past three…
Iranians gather during a protest after their province's river dried up due to drought and diversion, in the central city of Isfahan, on November 19, 2021.
News

Blocking, Oppressive Laws, Pressure on Tech Companies

(Moscow) – Russian authorities redoubled their efforts in 2021 to repress internet freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. The government blocked popular censorship circumvention tools, experimented with novel censorship technologies, expanded…
A young man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone at the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, May 26, 2020.
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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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.
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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

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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Release Journalists Wrongfully Detained, Sentenced

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta should stop prosecuting journalists and end its assault on independent media, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a video about the media crackdown. Since the February 1, 2021 coup, Myanmar’s junta has…
Anti-coup protesters hold a banner that reads "What are these? We are Yangon residents!" as they march during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday April 27, 2021.
News

“Foreign Agents” Law Leads to Criminal Penalty

Correction: This text has been corrected to reflect the location of the 2019 police raid. (Moscow) – A court in Sochi, Russia, has convicted a prominent human rights defender on criminal charges related to the country’s “foreign agents” law,…
Semyon Simonov
News

Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
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Surge in Police Harassment of Journalists, Activists, Protesters

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities are increasingly using criminal investigations to harass journalists, protest leaders, and various other critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are facing potential prosecution and have…
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Adds to Severe Restrictions on the Internet, Media

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar junta added a ban on satellite television to existing restrictions on the internet and media, tightening its grip over information in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 4, 2021, the ruling State Administration…
Anti-coup protesters flash the three-finger sign of defiance during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on April 23, 2021.
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Rescind Bills; Repeal Abusive ‘Undesirables’ Law; Reform Extremism Laws

(Moscow) – A group of Russian lawmakers introduced three bills on May 4, 2021 that would add new dangerous tools to the already significant arsenal of legislative weapons for the country’s crackdown on dissenting voices, Human Rights Watch said today…
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin addresses the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Parliament, in Moscow, Russia. July 22, 2020.
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Respect Rights to Freedom of Association, Expression

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta should immediately stop threatening the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a leading human rights monitoring group, Human Rights Watch said today. The group has documented security force abuses…
Anti-coup protesters hold a banner that reads "What are these? We are Yangon residents!" as they march during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar on Tuesday April 27, 2021.
News

Less Police Violence, But Intimidation, Advanced Roundups

(Moscow) – Russian police detained more than 1,600 people countrywide who were taking part in protests on April 21, 2021, against the treatment of the jailed and critically ill opposition figure Alexey Navalny, Human Rights Watch said today. Police…
A woman argues with a police officer during a protest in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Ulan-Ude, Russia, April 21, 2021.
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End Unfounded Persecution, Lawsuit Against Kremlin’s Critics

Update 6/9/2021: On June 9, the Moscow City Court ruled in favor of a request by the prosecutor’s office to classify all three groups - the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the Foundation for Protection of Citizens Rights, and Navalny’s headquarters…
Police officers outside the Moscow City Court building. February 02, 2021. Russia, Moscow.
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Account for Missing Politicians, Activists, Others at Risk of Torture, Death

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s military junta has forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the February 1, 2021 coup, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have taken into custody politicians, election officials, journalists, activists, and…
A man is held by police during a crackdown on anti-coup protesters holding a rally in front of the Myanmar Economic Bank in Mandalay, Myanmar on February 15, 2021.
News

New Law Criminalizes Expression, Violates Privacy Rights

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should revoke a new “fake news” ordinance that poses a serious threat to freedom of expression and privacy and the right to a fair trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Emergency (Essential Powers) (No. 2)…
A television shows a live broadcast of Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin at a shopping outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. 
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Camera Surveillance, Mass Data Collection Bolsters Abusive Junta

(Bangkok) – The Myanmar military junta’s access to a new public camera system equipped with facial recognition and license plate recognition technology poses a serious threat to basic rights in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. Increased…
A police officer takes visuals of protesters close to the Indonesian Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. 
News

Immediately Produce Another NLD Official’s Forcibly Disappeared Father

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s junta should promptly and impartially investigate and hold accountable those responsible for the torture and death in custody of a National League for Democracy (NLD) official, Human Rights Watch said today. The junta should also…
Myanmar soldiers blocking the street in Yangon near the home of Khin Maung Latt on the night of his arrest, March 6, 2021. (c) 2021 Private