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Ensure Fair Trials, Support for Victims

Two members of Ansaroul Islam, an armed Islamist group in Burkina Faso, were recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2018 attack on a primary school. Victims of the attack welcomed the verdict, which provided some rare accountability for…
Young student's in a classroom
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Habré was Convicted in Historic Trial in Senegal

Former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré died of Covid-19 on August 24 in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, where he was serving a life sentence for serious international crimes. He was held accountable following a landmark effort to ensure justice for his role…
A man in a white hat surrounded by soldiers
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Governments Need to Match Commitments with Action

Earlier in July, governments, philanthropies, and the private sector pledged almost $40 billion at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris to fight gender inequality over the next five years. The aim is to accelerate progress on women’s and girls’…
A girl holds the hand of a boy in Agadez, Niger on October 9, 2018.
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RE: Challenges to Implementation of GCM Objectives #4, 10, 13, 15, 17, 21 in Cameroon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, December 2018 – June 2021

Contents: I. Introduction II. Human trafficking (Nigeria, Senegal) III. Migrant detention (Mauritania, South Africa) IV. Migrant returns (Cameroon, Mauritania, Tanzania) V. Discrimination, xenophobia, access to services and documentation (South…
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Investigate, End Excessive Force Against Protesters

(Nairobi) – Security forces in Chad have used excessive force, including indiscriminate live ammunition, to disperse opposition-led demonstrations across the country in the aftermath of the April 11 election, Human Rights Watch said today. During…
Protesters burning car tires in the streets of Chad’s capital N’Djamena on April 27, 2021
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More than 500 Civilians Killed by Armed Islamists in the Sahel Since Early 2021

Just after 2 a.m. on June 5, armed Islamist fighters stormed an artisanal gold mining site outside Solhan village in Burkina Faso’s northeastern Yagha province. Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that the attackers opened fire on everyone that moved,…
A man reads the L'Observateur Paalga newspaper in Ouagadougou on June 7, 2021, about the attacks that happened in Solhan. 
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5 Years on, No Action on Court Orders in Hissène Habré Case

(Nairobi) – Victims of the former dictator of Chad, Hissène Habré, have not received a cent of reparations ordered by the African Union-backed Extraordinary African Chambers in Senegal in 2016, five organizations including Human Rights Watch said…
Supporters of Habre's victims, Dakar, 2015.
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Five Years After Chadian Dictator’s Guilty Verdict, Victims Still Await Justice

Five years ago, on May 30, 2016, an African Union-backed court in Dakar, Senegal, convicted former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, including sexual violence and rape. The court sentenced him to life…
Victims of former Chad dictator Hissène Habré demonstrate reparations
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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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President’s Death Leaves Chad with an Uncertain Future

I met Chadian president Idriss Déby, who was killed this week, several times. For 30 years, the United States and France backed this authoritarian, corrupt, often brutal ruler in the name of the same regional stability that once caused them to back…
Former Chadian President Idriss Deby is pictured in a May 29, 2015 file photo.
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AU Should Deploy Crisis Team to Ensure Civilian Protection, Rule of Law

(Nairobi) – Chad's transitional military council should scrupulously respect human rights and the rule of law, ensuring that civilians are protected and avoid any escalation of abuses against civilians, Human Rights Watch said today. The military…
Recently deceased Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno seen here addressing the Climate Action Summit at the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019  
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End Ill-treatment, Beatings; Respect Right of Assembly; Investigate Abuses

(Nairobi) – Chad’s security forces have ruthlessly cracked down on protesters and the political opposition in the lead-up to the country’s April 11, 2021 presidential election, harming Chadians’ right to freely choose their elected representatives,…
People in the streets of N'Djamena, Chad’s capital, protest against President Idriss Déby Itno running for a sixth term in the April 11, 2021 election.
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4 Years After Hissène Habré’s Conviction, African Union Fails to Put in Place Victims’ Fund

(Addis Ababa) – The African Union has yet to set up a Trust Fund to compensate victims of the former Chadian president Hissène Habré, four years after his historic conviction in Senegal, a coalition of international and regional human rights…
Supporters of Habre's victims, Dakar, 2015.
News

Bill Falls Short of International Standards

(Beirut) – Mauritania’s parliament should revise a draft law on associations it is due to confirm during its current session to ensure that it meets international standards on freedom of association, Human Rights Watch said today. The law as drafted…
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Detained for 8 Months, Facing Possible Death Sentences

Update: The Nouakchott West Criminal Court on October 20, 2020, found all five detained men guilty of “violating the sanctity of God” based on Article 306 of Mauritania’s Penal Code and sentenced them to between six and eight month prison terms, and…
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Donor Countries Urge Investigations into Mass Graves

  Pressure is mounting on the Burkina Faso government to investigate mass executions allegedly committed by state security forces. Human Rights Watch in July 2020 reported on common graves containing at least 180 bodies in the northern town of…
Djibo, Burkina Faso
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First International Day to Protect Education from Attack Addresses Violations Globally

(New York) – The Central Sahel has seen a significant spike in attacks on students, teachers, and schools since 2018, according to a new report released today by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). The report is launched…
A school in northern Burkina Faso is abandoned after an attack by an armed group.
News

35th Ordinary Session

Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this written presentation to contribute testimony from children to the discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on children at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of…
Schoolchildren attend class at a school in Norton, west of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2019.