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Withhold Votes for Serious Rights Violators Cameroon, Eritrea, UAE

(New York) – A noncompetitive United Nations election for Human Rights Council members virtually guarantees seats for candidate countries with abysmal rights records. UN member countries should refrain from voting for Cameroon, Eritrea, United Arab…
UN General Assembly Hall
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Criminal Charges Brought Against Group Alleging Corruption

Today marks three months since Congolese authorities detained Parfait Muhani, a 31-year-old pro-democracy activist, in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following a complaint brought by a foundation established by the wife of Congo’s…
Parfait Muhani (left),  Ghislain Muhiwa
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Censorship; Surveillance; Prison or Barred Entry for Critics

(Beirut, October 1, 2021) – United Arab Emirates authorities are using Expo 2020 Dubai to promote a public image of openness that is at odds with the government’s efforts to prevent scrutiny of its rampant systemic human rights violations, Human…
UAE 2020 Expo
Video
(Beirut, October 1, 2021) – United Arab Emirates authorities are using Expo 2020 Dubai to promote a public image of openness that is at odds with the government's efforts to prevent scrutiny of its rampant systemic human rights violations, Human Rights…
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Full Investigation Needed into Ignored Riot Warnings, Sexual Violence

(Kinshasa) – Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several…
Kasapa Prison
Video
Democratic Republic of Congo authorities have made no apparent progress investigating the September 2020 prison riot at Kasapa Central Prison in Lubumbashi, Human Rights Watch said. For three days, inmates repeatedly raped several dozen female detainees,…
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At Least 739 Civilians Killed in Ituri, North Kivu Provinces Since May

(Kinshasa) – Attacks on civilians by armed groups have continued in two conflict-ridden provinces of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the government imposed martial law in May 2021, Human Rights Watch said. Various armed groups, some…
Congolese army soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers patrol the area of an attack near the town of Oicha, 30 kilometers from Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, July 23, 2021.
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Corruption Settlement Returns Looted Funds to the Public They Were Stolen From

A decade-long scandal involving Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue, the eldest son of Equatorial Guinea’s president, may actually have a happy ending for the people of the country whose resources have been looted. The United States Department of Justice…
Proceeds from the Malibu home seized from Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, vice president of Equatorial Guinea, are now funding the country's Covid-19 vaccine drive.
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Appointment Risks Undermining Disarmament and Recovery

Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Felix Tshisekedi recently announced the launch of a long-awaited Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization program, meant to encourage thousands of fighters from more than 100 armed…
Militiamen of the armed group URDPC/CODECO in the village of Wadda, Ituri Province, northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on September 19, 2020.
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Exiled Activist Jean-Jacques Lumumba Targeted in Europe and Kinshasa

Last week, Jean-Jacques Lumumba, former banker and well-known whistleblower from the Democratic Republic of Congo, believed that he was being followed while en route to Brussels’ main train station. Yet, he stuck to his plans and took a train to…
Congolese whistleblower Jean-Jacques Lumumba near Paris, France, October 2019.
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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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Paves Way for Equatoguineans to Regain Stolen Resources

(Paris) – France’s highest court, the Cour de Cassation, on July 28, 2021 upheld two lower courts’ convictions of Teodorin Nguema Obiang Mangue, the vice president of Equatorial Guinea and eldest son of the president, for embezzling and laundering…
Teodorin Nguema, Equatorial Guinea's vice president and son of President Teodoro Obiang.
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Rising Opposition to Discriminatory Nationality Bill

On July 18, Jacky Ndala, youth leader for the political party Together for the Republic (Ensemble pour la République), noticed unusual activity outside his house in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a message widely…
Jacky Ndala.
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Ahmed Mansoor’s Leaked Letter Details Mistreatment in Prison

(Beirut) – A prominent Emirati human rights defender may face retaliation after a private letter he wrote detailing his mistreatment in detention and flagrantly unfair trial was published in the regional media, Human Rights Watch and the Gulf Centre…
A man in a white gutra
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Three Months On, Elisée Lwatumba, Eric Muhindo Unjustly Detained

(Goma) – Congolese authorities should immediately and unconditionally release two activists who were arbitrarily arrested on April 19, 2021, after peacefully demonstrating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Human Rights Watch said. Elisée…
Youth activists Eric Muhindo, left, and Elisée Lwatumba, center, at Butembo’s central prison, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Was Champion of Democracy and Human Rights

Tributes have been pouring in from all corners of the Democratic Republic of Congo and beyond for Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, a fearless human rights defender who died July 11 at age 81. A few days earlier, he had been flown from Congo to Versailles,…
Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo from the Democratic Republic of Congo arrives at the Synod hall in the Vatican on February 13, 2015.
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Enforced Disappearances, Incommunicado Detention, Groundless Deportation

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have forcibly disappeared at least four Pakistani men since October 2020 and deported at least six others without explanation, apparently based solely on their religious background, Human Rights Watch said…
201911mena_uae_skyline
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  Artur Ligęska, a 40-year-old Polish citizen who has spoken out widely about torture and ill-treatment in Emirati prisons, was found dead in his apartment in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on May 26, 2021. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights and…
A photo of Artur smiling
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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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Prevented from Leaving, Working to Repay Debts, Accessing Health Care

(Beirut) – United Arab Emirates authorities have barred an Iranian national from leaving the country or working for nearly seven years under the country’s abusive debt laws, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have refused to renew Mohammad…
UAE flag with Dubai skyline