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End Abusive Prosecutions; Lift Restrictions on Free Speech

(Nairobi) – Burundi’s scrutiny and control of media and nongovernmental organizations, and the conviction after deeply flawed proceedings of 12 journalists and activists in exile have a continued chilling effect on their work, Human Rights Watch said…
Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye at his inauguration on June 18, 2020. President Ndayishimiye took power two months early after the abrupt death of his predecessor, Pierre Nkurunziza.
News

State Regulator Insults Media as Journalists Appeal Conviction

Just when many thought press freedom had hit rock bottom in Burundi, the government-controlled National Communication Council’s (CNC) Media Awards this week have added insult to injury. The theme of this year’s ceremony was to…
journalists in Burundi attend court session
News
Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record has regretably deterioriated since its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in October 2014. Authorities cracked down on peaceful protests critical of government policies, and in mid-2016 jailed activists Maks Bokaev and…
News

New President Should Adopt Reform Agenda

(Berlin) – Kazakhstan’s new president, Kassym-Jomart Tokaev, should urgently address pressing human rights concerns as part of his mandate, Human Rights Watch said in a letter sent to the president that was released today. Tokaev was…
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokaev takes the oath during his inauguration ceremony in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
News

Baseless Charges Should Be Dropped Immediately

Today, a judge in Mozambique’s Pemba city court ruled that journalists Amade Abubacar and Germano Daniel Adriano be released on bail, three months after their arrest on groundless accusations. This was a bright moment in an otherwise troubling case in…
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News

Government Bans Communication with BBC, VOA

The Burundian government today signalled a new attack on media freedom, announcing it would renew the Voice of America’s (VOA) suspension and withdraw the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) operating license. These draconian moves…
Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza arrives for celebrations to mark Burundi’s 55th anniversary of independence at the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura, Burundi, July 1, 2017.
News

Police Should Investigate and Protect All Citizens, Including Critics

A Mozambican journalist received phone texts and calls from unidentified people threatening to kill him if he continues to write articles criticizing the government. Serôdio Towo, editor of the weekly newspaper Dossiers …
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News

Debate Silenced at Critical Moment

The Burundian government desperately wants an overwhelming win in next month’s constitutional referendum that will enable the president to extend his term in office. To do this, it must present the image of unity in the country – and open debate and…
Logo for Iwacu newspaper, "The voices of Burundi."
News

Journalists Questioned, Website Blocked

(Brussels) – Kazakhstan opened a criminal investigation of two prominent independent media outlets on March 30, 2018, for “disseminating knowingly false information,” Human Rights Watch said today. Police on April 2…
Journalists, others gather around Vadim Boreiko, journalist and regular contributor to Ratel.kz, for comment after the April 5 court hearing against Ratel.kz and chief editor Marat Asipov.
News

Regional Leaders Should End Repressive Policies

(Berlin) – Political leaders in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan should use the window of opportunity offered by political change in their countries to improve human rights, Human Rights Watch said today in releasing its World Report 2018. Leaders of…
People attend the opening ceremony of the new Belarussian-built potash plant in Garlyk, Turkmenistan March 31, 2017.
News

Stop Detaining Critics; Respect Independence of Media, Activists

(Brussels) – The European Union should make respect for human rights and an end to decades of repression a core component of its engagement with Central Asian countries, Human Rights Watch said today. In the past year, Central Asia has seen some…
From left to right: Mr Neven MIMICA, Member of the European Commission; Ms Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr Erlan IDRISSOV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan; Mr Erlan ABDYLDAEV
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Barred from Journalism for 3 Years

(Berlin) – An Almaty court on September 7, 2017, convicted the editor of one of Kazakhstan’s few remaining critical newspapers in a politically motivated money laundering trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The Medeu District Court barred…
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End Crackdown on Labor Rights

(Berlin) – A Kazakh court on May 16, 2017, sentenced a trade union leader to two years in prison on politically motivated embezzlement charges, Human Rights Watch said today. In addition, the trade unionist, Amin Yeleusinov, 55, is…
Amin Yeleusinov.
News

Nongovernmental Organizations Targeted for Their Work

(Berlin) – Kazakhstan’s authorities have been abusing tax issues to harass human rights groups, Human Rights Watch said today. Two prominent human rights organizations, the International Legal Initiative Foundation and Liberty, have had tax audits, and…
A public meeting organized by rights groups in Kazakhstan on January 27, 2017.
News

Hundreds Detained, Journalists, Activists Rounded Up

(Berlin) – Law enforcement officers aggressively broke up efforts to hold planned peaceful protests across Kazakhstan on May 21, 2016, detaining hundreds of people, sometimes using force, Human Rights Watch said today. Police also rounded up journalists…
Riot police officer gestures during protests in Almaty, Kazakhstan on May 21, 2016.
News

Activists, Groups Targeted, Persecuted by Authorities

(Berlin) – Central Asian governments ramped up pressure on nongovernmental groups and activists in 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016. The governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan arrested…
News

Kerry Should Press to Free Activists, Let Independent Groups Operate

(Washington, DC) – United States Secretary of State John Kerry should publicly express concern over Central Asian governments’ distinctly poor human rights records during his Central Asia visits, beginning October 31, 2015, Human Rights Watch said today…
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News

Olympic Committee Should Enforce Its New Rules

(New York) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) should ensure that the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics fully respects human rights commitments in preparing for and hosting of the games, Human Rights Watch said today. Both countries in the running…
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Burundian police have used excessive force against people protesting President Pierre Nkurunziza’s election bid for a third term. Police have shot at crowds indiscriminately and severely beaten demonstrators and detainees. Dozens of people have been…