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Congress Ousts Dozens of Judges

(Washington DC) – Two laws passed by El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly on August 31, 2021, threaten judicial independence by allowing authorities to dismiss all judges and prosecutors who are 60 years old or older, Human Rights Watch said today.…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele delivers his annual address to the nation before Congress, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Tuesday, June 1.
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Groups Urge Biden to Incorporate Human Rights into Security Negotiations

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should emphasize the promotion of human rights in its policies on North Korea, 11 human rights groups said today in a letter to President Joe Biden. The groups, including Human Rights…
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Kim Jong Un Uses Pandemic to Further Isolate Population

(New York, January 13, 2021) – North Korea’s government used unnecessary and opaque Covid-19 restrictions in 2020 to reinforce its standing as one of the world’s most repressive countries, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. Under…
Kim Song Ju Primary school students have their temperatures checked before entering the school in Pyongyang, North Korea. 
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Coalition Urges President Moon to Take Stronger Stance on Abuses

(Seoul) – South Korea’s government should strengthen its efforts to promote human rights in North Korea, a coalition of rights-oriented groups said today in an open letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The …
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Law Would Block South Koreans from Sending Materials North

(New York) – The South Korean National Assembly should reject a proposed law that would criminalize sending leaflets, information, money, and other items to North Korea, Human Rights Watch said today. If enacted, the law would violate South Koreans’…
People watch a news program showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. 
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11 Asia-Pacific Governments Oppose 120 States on Capital Punishment Moratorium

(Bangkok) – Eleven countries from the Asia-Pacific region were among the small minority that voted against a United Nations resolution opposing the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 17, 120 UN member states voted in favor of a…
A view of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, October 1, 2018.
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Torture, Lack of Due Process, Arbitrary Punishment, Corruption Rampant

(Seoul) – The North Korean pretrial detention and investigation system is arbitrary and lacks any semblance of due process, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Former detainees described systematic torture, dangerous and unhygienic…
An overhead illustration of people in a crowded jail cell
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Political Crackdown with Targeted Reviews, Inspections Prompts Fears

(New York) – The South Korean government is targeting activist organizations that focus on North Korea’s human rights problems for special review in an apparent effort to intimidate them, Human Rights Watch said today. Tensions between the South…
Activist Park Sang-hak holds a leaflet depicting the death of Kim Jong Nam, half-brother to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a press conference in Seoul on July 6, 2020. © 2020 Photo by ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images
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Further Efforts Needed to Prevent, Prosecute Hate Crimes

(Washington, DC) – A judge in San Salvador has found three police officers guilty of the January 2019 killing of Camila Díaz Córdova, a transgender woman, and sentenced each to 20 years in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. The court’s July 28,…
A transgender woman shows a photograph of Camila Díaz, whom she met while migrating to the US, where they both turned themselves in to immigration authorities. Both women were eventually deported.
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No Answers on Covid-19 Test Results, Quarantine, Government Spending

(Washington, DC) – The government of El Salvador’s decision to suspend public information requests, including for Covid-19 individual test results and quarantine conditions, is putting the health of Salvadorans at risk, Human Rights Watch said today.…
In this May 4, 2020 photo, men wearing protective face masks look out from a building where they are being held for violating a quarantine decreed by the government as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, in San Salvador, El Salvador.
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President’s Call for Lethal Force Ignores Basic International Standards

  (Washington, DC) – El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has ordered a mandatory lockdown in prisons holding gang members, imposing inhumane conditions on the inmates, Human Rights Watch said today. He also announced that he was authorizing “…
Inmates are lined up during a security operation under the watch of police at Izalco prison in San Salvador, El Salvador, on April 25, 2020.
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OAS Should Address Disregard for Rights Rulings, Constitution

(Washington, DC) – El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, for the third time in 10 days, on April 16, 2020, publicly dismissed Supreme Court rulings to respect fundamental rights while enforcing quarantine regulations, Human Rights Watch said today.…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks to his supporters in San Salvador, El Salvador, on February 20, 2020.
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Arbitrary Detention, Hazardous Conditions in Detention, Quarantine

  (Washington, DC) – El Salvador’s police have arbitrarily arrested hundreds of people in the name of enforcing restrictions to prevent the transmission of Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. President Nayib Bukele’s statements have…
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, accompanied by members of the armed forces, speaks to his supporters outside Congress in San Salvador, El Salvador.
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Item 4 Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the DPRK

Human Rights Watch thanks Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana for his work on human rights in North Korea, and in particular his attention to abuses against women documented in his latest report. Sex and gender-based discrimination and subordination of…
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Coalition Urges President Moon to Toughen Position on Human Rights

(Seoul) – The South Korean government should re-engage on promoting accountability for human rights abuses in North Korea, said a coalition of rights-oriented groups said today. The International Coalition to Stop Crimes Against Humanity…
South Korean President Moon Jae In delivers a speech in Seoul on March 1, 2020, in a ceremony to mark the 101st anniversary of the founding of a Korean independence movement against Japanese colonial rule.
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Abe Should Lead Efforts to Hold Pyongyang Accountable

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should reverse course and resume its practice of promoting accountability for human rights abuses in North Korea, Human Rights Watch and almost 300 other nongovernmental organizations and concerned individuals said…
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe enters into the prime minister's office in Tokyo on January 20, 2020. House of Councilors Plenary session starts on the same day.
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Stop Deporting Salvadorans Who Would Face Risks to Their Safety, Lives

(Washington, DC) – The United States government is deporting Salvadorans to face risk of murder and other serious abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 117-page report, “Deported to Danger: United…
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Totalitarianism Empowered with Absence of International Pressure

(Seoul) – North Korea’s government, one of the most repressive in the world, maintained its totalitarian rule during 2019 with ongoing brutality and intimidation, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. …
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sits in his vehicle after arriving at a railway station in Dong Dang, Vietnam, February 26, 2019.