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Summary Syria is a death country, a kidnapping country. Anyone coming back will lose their money or their life. — Salam, 26, from al-Jeza in Daraa Syrian refugees who voluntarily returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan…
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(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch…
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Struggle to Survive Amid Devastation, Property Destruction

(Beirut) – Syrian refugees who returned to Syria between 2017 and 2021 from Lebanon and Jordan faced grave human rights abuses and persecution at the hands of the Syrian government and affiliated militias, Human Rights Watch said in a report released…
A streetview of destroyed buildings in a city
News

Reverse Culture of Impunity and Support Investigation into Beirut Blast

Scenes from Lebanon shocked residents and the world on Thursday when the streets of a residential and commercial district in Beirut descended into a level of violence last seen during the country’s the civil war: Families sheltering in hallways,…
Lebanese army soldiers are seen through the bullet-riddled window of a car after deadly clashes erupted in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.
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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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Re-opening Delayed; 700,000 Out of Classes Last Year

(Beirut) – The education system in Lebanon is at risk of collapse, with devastating consequences for children, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities’ egregious planning failures have aggravated the impact of the country’s financial and Covid-…
Students sit inside a school bus at the end of their school day in Beirut, Lebanon,
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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
News

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
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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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Resolution Expresses Alarm at Lebanon’s Man-Made Disaster

This week the European Parliament heeded calls from survivors of the August 2020 Beirut blast, families of the victims, and many human rights groups to establish an international, independent fact-finding mission within the United Nations framework…
The Lebanese Association of Lawyers march at the First Anniversary of Port Blast, Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4, 2021.
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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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Rights Groups, Survivors, Victims Urgently Call for Justice

(Beirut, September 15, 2021) – Member states at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should establish an international, independent, and impartial investigative mission, such as a one-year fact-finding mission, into the Beirut port…
In this Aug. 9, 2020 file photo, political graffiti is visible in front of the scene of the August 4 explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon
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Allow Expert Access to Kazakhstan; Lift Ban

(Berlin) – Kazakh authorities have banned a Russian-American researcher from the country for five years in apparent efforts to stymy his work documenting abuses of ethnic minorities in neighboring China, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Gene Bunin
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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.
Report
Update 9/8/2021: In a letter dated August 17, 2021, General Joseph Aoun, the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces, responded to Human Rights Watch stating that the Army Command is unable to answer questions on the events that led to the Beirut Blast,…
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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.