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Universal Jurisdiction Provides Opening for Justice for Long-Ignored Crimes

(Stockholm) – The opening of a landmark trial in Sweden on August 10, 2021 of an Iranian citizen accused of participating in the mass execution of political prisoners is an important moment for victims long denied recognition and justice. On July…
A human rights exhibition on Iran during the international campaign to demand justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, held near the French National Assembly in Paris, November 14, 2017.
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Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
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Clarify Legal Basis Or Release

(Budapest) – Bulgarian authorities should clarify the legal basis for the continued detention of an Australian citizen, Jock Palfreeman, or release him immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. Palfreeman appears to have been…
Bulgaria's prosecutor general Sotir Tsatsarov, right, speaks during a press conference in Sofia, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
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Halt Attacks on Bulgarian Helsinki Committee; Dismiss Bogus Request

(Berlin) – Bulgaria’s prosecutor general should reject a call from a political party in the country’s governing coalition to disband the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), Human Rights Watch said today. The party has been in legal battles for…
Bulgaria's prosecutor general Sotir Tsatsarov, right, speaks during a press conference in Sofia, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
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African Governments Should Ensure Right to Education

  (Nairobi) - Tens of thousands of pregnant girls and adolescent mothers are banned or discouraged from attending school across Africa, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today, ahead of the Day of the African Child…
Students enrolled in the final year of lower secondary school in the classroom in a village in Kolda region, southern Senegal. Adolescent mothers and married girls study in this school.
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‘She Decides’ Summit to Counter Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

(Brussels) – Governments should pledge political and financial support for sexual and reproductive health to counter the United States’ “Global Gag Rule,” Human Rights Watch said today. The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden are hosting a summit in…
Women and girls wait with their children outside a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal.
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Latest Move Shows Government’s Disregard for Victims

(Nairobi) – Burundi has taken a major step backward by officially withdrawing from the International Criminal Court, Human Rights Watch said today. Other African ICC members should distance themselves from Burundi’s withdrawal and affirm their support for…
Residents outside their houses in Nyakabiga, in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, look at the body of a man shot dead on December 11, 2015.
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Video, Q&A Highlight Cases Spurred by Syrian, Iraqi Refugees

(Brussels) – Human Rights Watch released a question-and-answer document and video on October 20, 2016 that highlight the groundbreaking investigations and prosecutions in European countries of people accused of kidnappings, ill-treatment, and torture in…
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Rolls Back Refugee Rights; Could Harm Children

(Stockholm) – The Swedish Parliament is expected to approve a restrictive new asylum bill on June 21, 2016, that could harm the well-being of migrant children in need of protection and undermine their opportunity to effectively integrate into Swedish…
Nour T., a 16-year-old Syrian girl, at a group home in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Delays, Difficulties for Care, Asylum Claims

(Stockholm) – Unaccompanied migrant children in Sweden are experiencing delays and difficulties in getting critical care and support, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Sweden has had an unprecedented increase in the arrival of…
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Concerted Action Needed to Restore Credibility

(Brussels) - European Union leaders during 2014 were too often willing to sideline human rights at home when expedient in a year marked by success for populist and Eurosceptic parties in European Parliament elections and beyond, Human Rights Watch said…
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EU Should Press Sofia to Investigate, Provide Protection

(Brussels) – Bulgarian border police have in the past month forced Syrian asylum seekers back to Turkey and beaten some of them, Human Rights Watch said today based on accounts by victims.   Human Rights Watch documented three separate incidents of…
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Syrians, Others Forced Back Across Turkish Border

(Sofia) – Bulgaria has embarked on a “Containment Plan” to reduce the number of asylum seekers in the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The plan has been carried out in part by summarily pushing back Syrians, Afghans, and others…
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Summit Needs Rights-Based Approach to Boat Migration, Syria Refugees

(Brussels) – European Union heads of state meeting in Brussels on October 24 and 25, 2013, should urgently adopt measures to improve sea rescues of migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe, Human Rights Watch said today. The summit should also…
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Reports of Excessive Force Against Demonstrators, Journalists in Sofia

(Budapest) – The Bulgarian government should open an investigation into police action during the violent clashes on the evening of July 23, 2013 outside the Bulgarian parliament that left 17 people injured, Human Rights Watch said today. Anti-government…
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Returns to South-Central Somalia Would Contravene UN Refugee Guidelines

The Dutch government should not deport Somalis to any part of south-central Somalia, including Mogadishu, until security improves substantially, and the UN refugee agency has issued new guidelines. In mid-February 2013, Dutch authorities said they planned…
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Political Leadership Needed to Address Serious Abuses

(Brussels) – National and European Union (EU) leaders failed to address serious human rights concerns in the region amid economic and political crisis in 2012, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2013. Human Rights Watch documented human…
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Allow Access to EU Territory, Step Up Assistance in Region

(Brussels) – The European Union and its member states should do more to help the thousands of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach Europe as the Syrian crisis worsens and winter sets in, Human Rights Watch said today. Between March 2011 and September…
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Government Obligated to Protect Peaceful Marchers in Pride Parade

(New York) – The Bulgarian justice minister should publicly denounce a cleric’s calls for violence against people who participate in the LGBT Pride Parade in Sofia on June 30, 2012, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Justice Minister Diana…