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Creating a Criminal Offense Essential to Police Reform

(New York) – Pakistan’s National Assembly should urgently pass a bill that would make torture a criminal offense, Human Rights Watch and Justice Project Pakistan said today. The Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention and Punishment) Act 2019, which…
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Authorities Should Stop Stifling Dissent, Protect the Media

(New York) – A recent series of attacks and growing pressure on journalists who criticize the Pakistan government is a cause for serious concern, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists said today. Those…
 Pakistani journalist Asad Ali Toor, center, speaks during a demonstration to condemn the attack on journalists, in Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Independent, Thorough Investigation Needed

(Johannesburg) – Angolan authorities should immediately ensure a prompt, independent, and thorough investigation into the killing by security forces of at least 10 unarmed protesters on January 30, 2021 during a protest organized by the Lunda Tchokwe…
Angolan police officers in Benguela, Angola in January 2010.
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Minorities, Women Face Increased Risks

(New York) – Pakistan’s government intensified its crackdown on the media, political opponents, and civil society in 2020, while failing to stem violence against women and minorities, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Members of civil society groups take part in a rally to condemn a recent gang rape of a woman on a highway, Karachi, Pakistan, September 12, 2020.
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Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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Promptly Investigate All Attacks, Prosecute Those Responsible

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should urgently and impartially investigate a surge in violent attacks on members of the Ahmadiyya religious community, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Commission of Jurists…
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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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One Man Killed; Prominent Activists, Others Beaten

(Johannesburg) – Angolan police used live bullets, teargas, and dogs to disperse a peaceful anti-government protest, killing one protester, in the capital, Luanda, on November 11, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. Police severely beat the well-…
man lying on gurney. outdoors. paramedics.
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Adopt Human Rights Ministry’s Recommendations

(New York) – Pakistan’s Human Rights Ministry has issued a report finding that women in prison face poor conditions and receive inadequate medical care, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should immediately carry out the ministry’s…
A woman prisoner teaches fellow inmates and their children at a central jail in Mardan, Pakistan, November 8, 2018.
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Supreme Court Denounces National Accountability Bureau’s Rights Violations

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should follow up a recent Supreme Court decision and cease using the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to detain critics of the government, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should investigate and…
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Anti-Corruption Laws Abused to Silence Critics

Pakistani authorities should immediately drop politically motivated charges and release Mir Shakilur Rehman, an editor with Pakistan’s largest media group, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should also stop harassing Rehman’s…
Pakistani police escort Mir Shakilur Rehman to court following his arrest in Lahore, Pakistan, March 13, 2020.
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Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Pakistan Should Allow Free Flow of Information

(Geneva) – The World Health Organization (WHO) should press four governments that have shut down the internet to minority populations during the Covid-19 crisis to restore internet access, Human Rights Watch and 47 other organizations…
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New Rights Body Should be Inclusive, Independent, Empowered

  (New York) – Pakistan’s government has excluded the long-persecuted Ahmadiyya community from a new government commission aimed at safeguarding the rights of the country’s minorities, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 5, 2020…
A Pakistan Bureau of Statistics official and a soldier collect census information from an Ahmadi resident in Rabwah, Punjab, Pakistan in March 2017. © 2017 ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images
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(New York) – Pakistani authorities have not seriously investigated the enforced disappearance of a political activist and human rights defender, Idris Khattak, who has been missing nearly six months, Human Rights Watch said today.…
Idris Khattak. 
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Mitigate COVID-19 Impact on Low-Income Households

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should take urgent steps to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 on its most vulnerable workers, Human Rights Watch said today. Social distancing, quarantines, and the closure of businesses…
Pakistani workers make face masks, which are in great demand worldwide due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, in Karachi, Pakistan, March 31, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Fareed Khan
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Ensure Medical Care for Those in Custody

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should take urgent steps to ensure that prisoners and detainees have access to adequate medical care and protective measures against COVID-19, Human Rights Watch said today. Prisons, jails, and…
A volunteer checks the temperature of passengers arriving at a railway station in Peshawar, Pakistan, March 17, 2020.
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Cease Using Arrests to Intimidate Critics

  (New York, March 13) – Pakistani authorities should release from custody an editor who may be facing charges as a form of political harassment, Human Rights Watch said today. On March 12, 2020, Mir…
Police officers arrive at the office of the National Accountability Bureau, Lahore, Pakistan, October 5, 2018.
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Free Manzoor Pashteen; Held for Peaceful Expression

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should immediately release and drop the charges against Manzoor Pashteen, a political activist arrested on January 27, 2020 for criticizing government policies, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Manzoor Pashteen, a leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), addresses supporters during a rally in Lahore, Pakistan, April 22, 2018.
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Leaders Should Promote Human Rights Across Region

  (Johannesburg) – Weak domestic and regional institutions undermined human rights in several Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries during 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020…
A delegate attends the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Pretoria, South Africa, August 19, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Uphold Free Speech, Peaceful Dissent

(New York) – Pakistan’s government intensified its clampdown on the media, political opposition, and nongovernmental organizations in 2019, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020. Media outlets in…
Pakistani journalists attend a candlelight vigil to observe World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2019, in Karachi, Pakistan. © 2019 AP Photo/Fareed Khan