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Free Expression, Privacy Rights Violated

A Kuwaiti court has sentenced a transgender woman to prison for “imitating the opposite sex” online, Human Rights Watch said today. Such laws violate the rights to free expression, privacy, and nondiscrimination under Kuwait’s constitution and…
Maha al-Mutairi, a 40-year-old Kuwaiti transgender woman. © 2021 Maha al-Mutairi.
News

Dozens Placed Under Arbitrary House Arrests

(Tunis) – Arbitrary and politically motivated acts of repression have proliferated in Tunisia since July 25, 2021, when President Kais Saied suspended parliament, Human Rights Watch said today. He also lifted parliamentary immunity, dismissed the head…
Tunisian President Kais Saied raises his fist to bystanders as he walks along the avenue Bourguiba in Tunis, Tunisia, August 1, 2021.
News

A Dangerous Move Capitalizes on Popular Frustration

(Tunis) – Tunisian President Kais Saied should safeguard the human rights of all Tunisians and reverse any repressive measures taken since announcing July 25 measures that largely concentrate powers in his office, Human Rights Watch said today. On…
Kais Saied during the sworn ceremony in Bardo, Tunis, Tunisia on October 23, 2019.
News

An Interview with Pau González of Hombres Trans Panamá

I. Introduction On April 1, 2020, the government of Panama introduced a gender-based lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that women and men were only allowed to do essential shopping on alternate days. The country’s Health…
Pau González. © Alexandra Gil
News

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
News

Ensure Humane Treatment, Due Process, Medical Care

(Tunis) – Families of women and children with ties to suspected members of the Islamic State group (ISIS) who were recently repatriated to Tunisia say that all of the women are in detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Some have faced abuse, have…
The Palace of Justice in Tunis, Tunisia, on January 29, 2019.
News

Failure to Address Complaint Against Police

  Update: On March 17, 2021, the Court of Appeal in Tunis ordered Rania Amdouni released. The appeals judge confirmed Amdouni’s conviction but suspended her six-month sentence, and increased the fine from 18 dinars ($6.5) to 218 dinars ($78…
Rania Amdouni, 26, at the office of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, on October 27, 2020.
News

President Cortizo Should Veto Discriminatory Provisions

(New York) – Panama’s National Assembly passed a bill on March 3, 2021, that includes a discriminatory prohibition on adoption by same-sex couples, Human Rights Watch said today. Bill No.120, which aims to protect children and adolescents from…
Panama's President Laurentino Cortizo delivers his first State of the Nation speech at the National Assembly in Panama City, July 1, 2020. 
News

UN Experts Should Investigate

(Beirut) – Tunisian security forces have repeatedly targeted protesters, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) activists at protests, Human Rights Watch said today. The targeting involved arbitrary arrests, physical…
Protesters gather in Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, Tunisia on February 6, 2021.
News

1 Dead, Arrests for Facebook Posts and ‘Insulting Police’

(Tunis) – Police in several Tunisian governorates appear to have responded to social justice protests in recent weeks with excessive force at times, leaving one man dead and arresting hundreds, including many minors, Human Rights Watch said today.…
A protester holds up a sign saying “Police Everywhere, Justice Nowhere” during nation-wide protests calling for social justice and government reform on January 23, 2021, Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis, Tunisia.
News

Police Violence Against LGBT People in Tunisia

On October 6, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Tunisia raised their voices and banners in the street, amid the hundreds of demonstrators who were peacefully protesting a draft law that would drastically limit criminal…
Saif Ayadi, LGBT rights activist at Damj Association, surrounded by protesters on October 6, 2020.
News

Repeal Laws Restraining Free Speech

(Tunis) – A Tunis court on November 12, 2020 sentenced a blogger, Wajdi Mahouechi, to two years in prison for posting a Facebook video that a court official deemed offensive, Human Rights Watch said today. Mahouechi, 31, a frequent commentator on…
A Tunisian woman walks past a graffiti that reads "Freedom is a daily practice" in Tunis April 26, 2011.
News

US Barriers to Asylum Block Path to Safety

(Washington, DC) – The governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have failed to effectively address violence and entrenched discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, leading many to seek asylum in the…
A group of men and women march walk while holding rainbow pride flags
News
This is an important day for same-sex couples. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights will, for the first time, hold a public hearing on the question of marriage equality in Panama. This means that advocates will have a chance to make their…
Panamanians protesting constitutional reforms on November 2, 2019.
News

Government Should Implement Legislation, Address Gaps in Protection for Victims

This month, after years of activism, Kuwaiti women’s rights activists won a new law establishing protections against domestic violence. The need for this law was underscored on September 9 when Fatima al-Ajmi, aged 35 and pregnant, was shot repeatedly…
The Kuwait city skyline is seen through the haze of a sand storm in Shuwaikh, Kuwait City.
News

Appeals Court Applies Law Criminalizing Same-Sex Activities

(Beirut) – A Tunisian appeals court on July 28, 2020 upheld the conviction of two men accused of sodomy but reduced their sentence to one year in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. This conviction contradicts the rights to privacy and…
Revolutionary graffiti adorns a wall of the Prime Minister's office in Tunis, January 22, 2011.