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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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Governments Should Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – Recent reports that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used for surveillance of dozens of journalists, human rights activists, and others demonstrate the urgent need for governments to suspend the trade in surveillance technology until…
People march in Budapest, Hungary during a July 26, 2021 protest against the Hungarian government over reports that it has used Pegasus spyware.
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Policies Undermine Government’s Calls for Global Vaccine Equity

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s raids on irregular migrants are deterring people fearful of arrest and deportation from getting vaccinated for Covid-19, Human Rights Watch said today. These actions undermine the government’s repeated…
Migrant workers show their passport during a raid in Dengkil, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 21, 2021.
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Concerted Action Needed to Counter Rule of Law Threats in Poland and Hungary

(Brussels) – European Union affairs ministers should put the governments of Hungary and Poland on notice that there is no place for attacks on the rule of law in the EU and step up scrutiny of their human rights-abusive policies, Amnesty International…
European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015.
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Latest Attack on Diversity Could Affect Health Care, Education

(Berlin) – Hungary’s parliament should reject a bill that would prohibit discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation, and violates Hungary’s international legal obligations, Human Rights Watch said today. The law targets content “promoting”…
People march with a giant rainbow flag from the parliament building in Budapest during the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade on July 6, 2019.
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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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Mark Istanbul Convention’s 10th Anniversary with Action

(Berlin) – Council of Europe member states should reinforce efforts to combat violence against women by swiftly ratifying and carrying out a landmark regional convention on women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch released…
People gathered in Istanbul in March 2021 to protest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a treaty designed to safeguard women from gender-based violence. 
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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. 
News

Action Puts Lives at Risk, Defies Court Order

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government should urgently investigate the Immigration Department’s return of 1,086 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar in defiance of a court order, Human Rights Watch said today. On February 23, 2021, the Malaysian High Court…
Image taken from a video of an immigration truck with security guards and unidentified people on the road to Lumut Naval Base on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 in Lumut, Malaysia. 
News

Decision Holding Portals Liable Poses Serious Risk to Freedom of Speech

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian Federal Court decision holding an online news site responsible for reader comments contravenes international human rights standards and will chill free speech in Malaysia, Human Rights Watch said today. The court on…
Malaysiakini's editor-in-chief Steven Gan speaks to the media at the Federal Court in in Putrajaya, Malaysia on February 19, 2021. 
News

Returned Nationals Would Face Oppressive Military Rule

(Kuala Lumpur) – The Malaysian government should halt plans to return 1,200 Myanmar nationals to Myanmar, Fortify Rights and Human Rights Watch said today. The government has agreed to hand over the nationals, all currently in Malaysian custody, to…
Undocumented migrants are detained during a crackdown by the Immigration Department in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 20, 2020.
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Lawmakers Should Repeal, Not Reinforce, Discriminatory Laws

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government should renounce a cabinet minister’s proposal to increase criminal penalties against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, Human Rights Watch said today. The attempt to strengthen criminal…
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Immunity, Police Powers for Military Raise Risk of Abuse

(Bangkok) – Malaysia’s recently announced Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance is overly broad and should urgently be revised to meet international human rights standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The ordinance, announced on January 14,…
Perdana Menteri Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin berbicara dalam sebuah konferensi pers setelah pertemuan kabinet pertama di kantor perdana menteri di Putrajaya, Malaysia, 11 Maret 2020.
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Free Speech, Migrants Threatened, Police Unaccountable

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian coalition that took power in March 2020 halted the Pakatan Harapan government’s faltering human rights reform movement, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Undocumented migrants are detained during a crackdown by the Immigration Department in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, May 20, 2020.
News

Release Children; Allow UN Refugee Agency Access to Detained Migrants

(Bangkok) – Malaysia should immediately release all children held in immigration detention facilities and allow the United Nations refugee agency regular access to those facilities, Human Rights Watch said today. Malaysia’s Home Ministry…
Police officers detain an immigrant from an apartment under enhanced lockdown in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 1, 2020. © 2020 REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng
News

Parliament Should Reject Anti-LGBT Proposal; EU Commission Should Speak Out

(Budapest) – A Hungarian government proposal to amend the constitution to restrict adoption to married couples is designed to exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and families and is an affront to common European values, Human…
People march with a giant rainbow flag from the parliament building in Budapest during the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pride Parade on July 6, 2019.
News

Complaints Commission Needs Real Investigatory, Disciplinary Powers

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian government’s proposed police complaints commission would have no powers to punish rights-abusing police, Human Rights Watch said today. A bill to create an “Independent Police Conduct Commission” (IPCC) was submitted to…
Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin attending parliament session at parliament lower house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, July 13, 2020.
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Arrest of Bangladeshi in Documentary Violates Free Speech Rights

(Bangkok) – The Malaysian authorities’ arrest of a Bangladeshi migrant worker who was featured in an Al Jazeera documentary is clear retaliation for his criticism of government policies towards migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities…
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End Pressure on Media; Respect, Protect Independent Journalism

(Budapest) – The firing of Szabolcs Dull, the editor-in-chief of Hungary’s biggest independent news website, Index, on July 22, 2020 has political interference written all over it, Human Rights Watch said today. The dismissal is a blow to media…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán addresses supporters after the announcement of partial results of the parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018.
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Jailing, Caning Refugees Violates International Law

(Bangkok) – Malaysian authorities should stop prosecuting Rohingya refugees for illegal entry and ensure that they are protected in accordance with international law, Human Rights Watch said today. At least 40 ethnic Rohingya who were picked up…
A boat carries Rohingya refugees off the coast of Langkawi, Malaysia, April 5, 2020.