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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.
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Detention of Rozina Islam a Major Strike Against Media Freedom

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should drop all oppressive charges against the renowned Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. Islam’s colleagues believe she was detained over her reporting on corruption and…
A protester holds a placard reading "Free Rozina Islam " during a demonstration in PLACE on DATE. © 2021 Md Manik/SOPA Images/Sipa USA
News

Free Expression Under Serious Threat

(New York) – The Bangladesh government’s increasingly violent crackdown on media freedom is of urgent concern on World Press Freedom Day, nine nongovernmental organizations said in a letter today to Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High…
Journalists work in front of a Covid-19 Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 20, 2021. 
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

Netra News Latest to be Blocked in Free Speech Crackdown

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities are blocking access to online news sites in violation of the right to free speech and access to information, Human Rights Watch said today. The government has also adopted advanced methods to block or conduct…
Bangladeshi photojournalists and journalists form a human chain infront of National Press Club protesting the attacks on them during the students' ongoing protest demanding safe roads, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on August 7, 2018.
News

Poet, Lawyer, Activists Jailed in Free Speech Crackdown

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities made a series of new arrests in their crackdown on the right to free speech, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests were based on vague charges such as “hurting religious sentiment” or undermining “law and…
A Bangladeshi reads a news report that makes mention of Facebook along with other social networking service, on his mobile phone in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.
News

End Media Censorship, Prosecution of Journalists

In its annual press freedom index, Reporters Sans Frontières has dropped Bangladesh to 150th out of 180 countries – the lowest ranking it has ever received. Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hasan Mahmud disputed the report’s findings,…
201904asia_bangladesh_journalists_media
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

Digital Security Act is Overly Broad, Ripe for Abuse

(New York) – The Digital Security Act passed by the Bangladeshi parliament last week, despite vehement opposition from the country’s journalists, strikes a blow to freedom of speech in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The law, which…
Bangladesh's President Abdul Hamid (3rd R) and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (2nd L) walk near female members of the Bangladesh army at the national parade ground in Dhaka on December 16, 2015.
News

Periodic Rights Review Response Ignored Main Concerns

(Geneva) – The Bangladesh delegation to the United Nation’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on May 14, 2018, failed to respond to pressing human rights concerns in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The law minister,…
Tear gas is seen while police takes their position in the street Dhaka, Bangladesh, February 8, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
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

Repeal Abusive Criminal Defamation and Sedition Laws

(New York) – Bangladeshi authorities should immediately withdraw all criminal charges filed against the editors of the Daily Star and Prothom Alo, the country’s leading newspapers, Human Rights Watch said today. Bangladesh should repeal its criminal…
A man buys a local newspaper in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 20, 2011.
News
Free speech in Bangladesh is under attack as never before, held hostage between angry, machete-wielding radicals on one hand and a government, quick to take offence, on the other. Four bloggers have been murdered this year by religious…
Niladri Chakrabarti
News

Protect Bloggers, Prosecute Those Targeting Free Speech

(New York) – Bangladesh authorities should unequivocally declare their commitment to free speech instead of proposing self-censorship, Human Rights Watch said today. The killing of secular blogger Niladri Chakrabarti on August 7…
Niladri Chakrabarti
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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…
News
A coup attempt and heavy fighting in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, are making headlines around the world, but many Burundians are still in the dark about what happened.  Some would like to keep it that way.   Yesterday, less than 24 hours after a group of…
News
Over the last couple of weeks I have visited my friend, Bob Rugurika, in prison three times. When I first saw him on January 21 in Bujumbura’s Mpimba prison, he gave me a big hug and joked, “It’s not safe to be visiting a murderer!” A young journalist and…
News
Bob Rugurika, known throughout Burundi as Bob, is a promising young journalist. He is the director of the popular Radio Publique Africaine (RPA) radio station and is well known for his investigative journalism and easy interactive style. He…
News
Published in French in Le Monde on January 28, 2015. Bob Rugurika has been in prison since January 20. His name may not mean much to readers outside Burundi. Yet he is an excellent journalist who has honored his profession as director of the most popular…
News

War Crimes Court Uses Broad Contempt Powers to Quell Criticism

(New York) – The December 2 conviction of journalist David Bergman on contempt charges by Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) further shrinks the narrowing space for observers to comment on the war crimes proceedings, Amnesty International,…