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Withhold Votes for Serious Rights Violators Cameroon, Eritrea, UAE

(New York) – A noncompetitive United Nations election for Human Rights Council members virtually guarantees seats for candidate countries with abysmal rights records. UN member countries should refrain from voting for Cameroon, Eritrea, United Arab…
UN General Assembly Hall
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Allegations of Coerced Confession

(Beirut, October 5, 2021) – Qatari authorities should ensure a fair trial for a 35-year-old Jordanian man who is appealing a five-year prison sentence for offenses including misuse of funds and bribery, Human Rights Watch and FairSquare said…
Abdullah Ibhais at a restaurant
News

Dozens Placed Under Arbitrary House Arrests

(Tunis) – Arbitrary and politically motivated acts of repression have proliferated in Tunisia since July 25, 2021, when President Kais Saied suspended parliament, Human Rights Watch said today. He also lifted parliamentary immunity, dismissed the head…
Tunisian President Kais Saied raises his fist to bystanders as he walks along the avenue Bourguiba in Tunis, Tunisia, August 1, 2021.
News

Many Excluded from Running, Voting in First Legislative Elections

(Beirut) – New laws approved in late July 2021 to regulate Qatar’s first legislative elections will effectively disenfranchise thousands of Qataris from voting or running, Human Rights Watch said today. The new laws highlight the country’s…
A Qatari candidate registers to run in the country's upcoming election as a member of its top advisory panel, known as the Shura Council, in the capital Doha, on August 22, 2021.
News

A Dangerous Move Capitalizes on Popular Frustration

(Tunis) – Tunisian President Kais Saied should safeguard the human rights of all Tunisians and reverse any repressive measures taken since announcing July 25 measures that largely concentrate powers in his office, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
Kais Saied during the sworn ceremony in Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia on October 23, 2019.
News

Human Rights Watch Introduces Country Index Based on Laws, Policies

(Beirut) – Governments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) should outlaw the violent discipline of children, Human Rights Watch said today, introducing an index categorizing countries in the region based on their laws and policies. The MENA…
2020 Dadu Shin for Human Rights Watch
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Discriminatory Restrictions Affect Independence to Marry, Study, Work, Travel

(Beirut, March 29, 2021) – Qatar’s discriminatory male guardianship system denies women the right to make many key decisions about their lives, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 94-page report, “‘Everything I Have to Do is…
Women fly a kite in a park next to a body of water
News

Failure to Address Complaint Against Police

  Update: On March 17, 2021, the Court of Appeal in Tunis ordered Rania Amdouni released. The appeals judge confirmed Amdouni’s conviction but suspended her six-month sentence, and increased the fine from 18 dinars ($6.5) to 218 dinars ($78…
Rania Amdouni, 26, at the office of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, on October 27, 2020.
News

Repeal Laws Restraining Free Speech

(Tunis) – A Tunis court on November 12, 2020 sentenced a blogger, Wajdi Mahouechi, to two years in prison for posting a Facebook video that a court official deemed offensive, Human Rights Watch said today. Mahouechi, 31, a frequent commentator on…
A Tunisian woman walks past a graffiti that reads "Freedom is a daily practice" in Tunis April 26, 2011.
News

As World Cup Draws Closer, Government Yet to Meet Key Reform Promises

(Beirut) – Qatari authorities’ efforts to protect migrant workers’ right to accurate and timely wages have largely proven unsuccessful, Human Rights Watch said in a report and an accompanying video released today. Despite a handful of reforms in…
Migrant workers in Qatar represent about 95 per cent of the country’s labor force. These workers are building the country’s infrastructure, hotels, and stadiums, and powering its service sector. 
News

Appeals Court Applies Law Criminalizing Same-Sex Activities

(Beirut) – A Tunisian appeals court on July 28, 2020 upheld the conviction of two men accused of sodomy but reduced their sentence to one year in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. This conviction contradicts the rights to privacy and…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.
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Arbitrary Detention; Reported Attempt to Require Discredited Anal Exam

(Beirut) – A Tunisian court sentenced two men accused of sodomy to two years in prison on June 6, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The decision violates their rights to privacy and nondiscrimination under international law and Tunisia’s 2014…
© 2018 Human Rights Watch
News

Overcrowding, Unsanitary Conditions Threaten Further Spread

UPDATE: On May 19, 2020, in response to this report, Qatar’s Government Communications Office (GCO) issued a statement confirming the presence of the virus in its central jail. Denying prisoner statements referenced in Human Rights…
Doha Skyline, Qatar.
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(Beirut) – Human Rights Watch joined 28 other organizations today in issuing this statement about the need to unblock Voice Over IP platforms for voice and video internet calls: In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic outbreak, we, the…
202004mena_gulf_VoIP
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Unwarranted Amid Health Risks, Global Travel Restrictions

    (Beirut) – People in immigration detention in Gulf countries pending deportation should be given alternatives to detention amid health risks and global travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Human…
A worker rests at his accommodation in Qadisiya labor camp, Saudi Arabia August 17, 2016.
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Positive Steps but Additional Measures Needed

  (Beirut) –  Qatari authorities should ensure that migrant workers receive adequate protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, a coalition of 16 nongovernmental organizations and trade unions said in a letter on March 31, 2020…
Logos of civil society organizations and trade unions.
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Months of Delayed Wages on World Cup-Related Sites

  (New York) – Qatari authorities failed to address an employer’s months of delayed wages to employees despite a 2015 system built to ensure employers paid their employees on time and in full, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Workers walk towards the construction site of the Lusail stadium which will be build for the upcoming 2022 Fifa soccer World Cup during a stadium tour in Doha, Qatar, December 20, 2019.
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Thousands of Children of ISIS Suspects in Syria, Libya, Iraq Need Help

(Tunis) –Tunisia’s action on January 23, 2020, to bring home from Libya six orphaned children of suspected Islamic State (also known as ISIS) members is a step toward protecting the rights of these children, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A woman walks with a child in Roj camp, which holds foreign wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) members, in northeast Syria, September 2018. © 2018 Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images
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Accused of Inciting Hatred in a Facebook Post

(Tunis) – Tunisian authorities should drop the prosecution of a prominent activist on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights (LGBT) over a post on Facebook perceived as offensive to Islam. The counterterrorism…
Mounir Baatour, lawyer and president of Shams association, a group that defends sexual minorities.
News

Penal Code Amendments a Setback for Freedom of Expression

(Beirut) – Qatar has amended its penal code to restrict further the already-narrow space for free expression by setting criminal penalties for spreading “fake news” online, Human Rights Watch said today. The amendment, introduced…
An image of the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on a building in Doha, Qatar.