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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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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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Al-Hasani at Risk of Unfair Trial After Wrongful Deportation From Morocco

(Beirut) – Saudi officials should immediately make public the whereabouts and condition of a Saudi-Australian man forcibly returned to Saudi Arabia in March 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. No information has emerged about the situation of Osama al…
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Intensive Surveillance, Restriction of Visitors for More Than 3 Months

    (Washington) – Moroccan security forces have maintained a near-constant heavy presence outside the house of an activist for Western Sahara independence for more than three months, Human Rights Watch said today. They have provided…
Sultana Khaya
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Uphold, Reaffirm Human Rights Protections

(Berlin) – Government responses to the acute human rights challenges posed by Covid-19 across Central Asia negatively affected right to health, media freedoms, and access to justice, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021.…
Uzbek students take open-air entrance exams in Tashkent on September 2, 2020, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease pandemic.
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US Recognition of Moroccan Sovereignty Doesn’t Change Territory’s Status

(New York) – Morocco has cracked down on pro-independence activists in Western Sahara after an incident at a border crossing on November 13, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The incident re-ignited the long-stalled conflict between Morocco and the…
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Increasing Pressure on Families of Exiled Activists

(Berlin) – Tajik authorities in late November 2020 summoned, interrogated, and threatened family members of Fatkhuddin Saidmukhidinov, a Tajik activist in exile, apparently to force him to cease his online criticism of the government, Human Rights…
Fatkhuddin Saidmukhidinov
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Rights, Rule of Law Key in Response to Region’s Crises

(Brussels) – The European Union (EU) should set consequences if Central Asian governments fail to meet more ambitious human rights goals, Human Rights Watch said today. The EU’s response to political turmoil, such as in Kyrgyzstan, or to challenges…
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Brussels, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.
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19 Have Been Imprisoned for 10 Years; Trial Fairness under Scrutiny

(Tunis) – Morocco’s highest court is examining the case of 19 Sahrawi men imprisoned since 2010 after violent clashes with the police, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. A verdict is expected on November 25th. The men are serving…
Relatives of Sahrawi prisoners of the Gdeim Izik group outside a tribunal in Salé, Morocco, in December 2016.
News

Authorities Arbitrarily Detain Son of Political Prisoner

Update: On August 3, 2020, Khisomiddin Rozikov received a letter from the Tajik Prosecutor’s Office, dated July 30, which says that the State Committee for National Security detained Asroriddin Rozikov under Article 307.3, Part 2 of the Criminal Code…
Asroriddin Rozikov
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Criminalization Fuels Harassment; Protect LGBT People from Discrimination, Abuse

  (Beirut) – A campaign of online harassment in Morocco has trampled the privacy of presumed gay and bisexual men, possibly subjecting them to physical harm, prosecution, and discriminatory measures, Human Rights Watch…
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Sharipov Case Latest Attempt to Stifle Critical Voices

Update: On April 16, 2020, the Dushanbe Shohmansur court, sentenced Daler Sharipov to one year in prison on charges of incitement of religious discord for printing copies of a dissertation. The trial was closed to the public. Sharipov's…
Daler Sharipov. Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrH1GEHu5dE. Accessed by Human Rights Watch on February 20, 2020.
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Free Everyone Imprisoned Over Peaceful Comments

(New York/Rabat) – Moroccan authorities have since September 2019 arrested and prosecuted at least 10 activists, artists, or other citizens who did nothing but peacefully express critical opinions via Facebook posts, YouTube videos, or rap songs, Human…
Human rights activists shout slogans as they protest against a "campaign of repression" targeting posters on social networks and in support of freedom of expression, in the Moroccan capital Rabat on January 9, 2020.
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Sentenced to Life in 2009 Unjust Mass Trial

  (Tunis) – A man sentenced to life in prison in one of Morocco’s best-known trials for supposedly plotting terrorism, has apparently been held in abusive solitary detention for more than three years, Human Rights…
Abdelqader Belliraj, arriving at a courthouse in Salé, Morocco, in 2008.
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End Arbitrary Detention, Speech Restrictions

(Berlin) – Changes in the names and faces of political leaders in Central Asia have brought promises for reforms, but core human rights concerns, such as detention of critics and limits to free speech, remain urgent in all five…
An Uzbekistan cotton grower works in a cotton plantation outside Tashkent, on October 24, 2019.
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Faces Up to a Year in Prison at January 2 Trial

(Tunis, December 28, 2019) – Moroccan authorities should unconditionally release and drop charges against a journalist jailed for a 9 months-old tweet criticizing a judge, Human Rights Watch said today. Omar Radi, 33, is due to be tried…
Journalist Omar Radi in Casablanca, Morocco, 2018. © Fanny Hedenmo
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Repeal Laws that Compromise Privacy, Freedom of Conscience

(Tunis) - The Moroccan parliament should adopt the groundbreaking proposals made by a government-appointed body to enshrine individual freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. In a memorandum published on October 28, 2019, the National Human…
A couple sitting by the ocean in Rabat, Morocco.
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Forced Return Would Violate Ban on Torture, Other Ill-Treatment

Update: On November 5, 2019, the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office rejected the Tajik request to extradite Farhod Odinaev (Berlin) – An independent journalist and political opposition activist risks torture or other ill-…
Independent journalist and political opposition activist Farhod Odinaev was detained by Belarusian border guards on September 25 on a Tajik extradition request while crossing the Belarus-Lithuania border en route to a human rights conference in Poland.
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Gaps in Government Response Put Women’s Lives at Risk

(Warsaw) – Tajikistan’s government takes little action to investigate or prosecute domestic violence cases and is doing far too little to help survivors, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Despite progress in some areas…
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Jailed Journalist Accused of Non-Marital Sex, Abortion

  (Tunis, September 9, 2019) – The Moroccan authorities’ prosecution and jailing of a journalist on charges of having an abortion and sex outside of marriage flagrantly violate her rights to privacy, liberty, and…
Hajar Raissouni (Via Facebook)